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Library of the 
University of North Carolina 

Endowed by the Dialectic and Philan- 
thropic Societies 










PR 1119 
no. 71 



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A. W. P., F. J. F. 



INTRODUCTION ... ... ... ... ... ix 

appendix (The Secuuda Pastorum and Archie Arm- 
strong's Aith) ... ... ... ... xxx i 

i. the creation. 1 (The Barkers. Wakefeld) ... 1 

ii. mactacio abel. (The Glovers) ... ... ... 9 

in. processus noe cum filiis. (Wakefeld) ... ... 23 

IV. ABRAHAM 2 ... ... ... ... ... 40 

V. [isaac] ... ... ... ... ... 49 

VI. IACOB ... ... ... ... ... 52 

vii. processus prophetarum. [Incomplete] ... ... 56 

viii. pharao. (The JAtsters or Dyers) [York xi] ... 64 

IX. CESAR AUGUSTUS ... ... ... ... 78 

X. ANNUNCIACIO ... ... ... ... ... 86 

XI. SALUTACIO ELEZABETH ... ... ... ... 97 

xii. una pagina pastorum. (Prima) ... ... 100 

XIII. ALIA EORUNDEM. (Sedioda) ... ... ... 116 

XIV. OBLACIO MAGORUM ... ... ... ... 140 


XVI. MAGNUS HEROD ES ... ... ... ... 166 

xvii. purificacio marie. [Incomplete at end] ... ... 181 

xviii. pagina doctorum. [Incomplete at beginning. Yorkxxii] 186 

1 After this play the MS. has lost 12 leaves, containing no doubt the 
Temptation of Eve and the expulsion of her and Adam from Paradise. 

- Incomplete : 2 leaves of the MS. wanting, which contained the end of 
"'Abraham" and the beginning of " Isaac." 





xxv. extraccio animarum. [York xxxvii] 
xxvi. resurreccio domini. [York xxxviii] 
xxvn. peregrini. (The Fishers) 


xxx. iudicium. [York xlviii] 


xxxii. suspencio iude. [Incomplete] 


1 Incomplete. Twelve leaves arc out of the MS. betw 
the next. 


een this play and 


The Towncley Plays were printed for the first time by the Surtees 
Society in 1836, with an introduction which is variously assigned to 
the Society's secretary, James Paine, and to J. Hunter. The text of 
the plays as printed in this Surtees edition is, on the whole, very 
creditably accurate, and is certainly far more free from serious 
blunders than that of the so-called ' Coventry ' Plays, edited by 
Halliwell-Phillipps for the Shakespeare Society, or even than that 
of the Chester Plays, as edited by Thomas Wright. It was not, 
however, a transcript with which students of the present day could 
be content in the case of a unique manuscript, the ultimate destina- 
tion of which is still, unhappily, uncertain. Under Dr. Furnivall's 
superintendence a new transcript was, therefore, made by Mr. George 
England, who, by the great kindness and liberality of Mr. Quaritch, 
the present owner of the manuscript, after the book had been placed 
at his disposal for some weeks at the British Museum, was allowed 
the use of it a second time at 15 Piccadilly to correct his proofs 
by the original. 

To the text thus produced Dr. Furnivall himself added notes of 
the metres, and at his request the present writer supplied the usual 
sidenotes, an interesting and pleasant task in the case of a work of 
so great variety and literary value. Dr. Furnivall's further com- 
mands for the supply of an Introduction were far less agreeable. 
The Towneley Plays present many problems, more especially as to 
their language, which deserve to be dealt with by some learned 
professor, or at any rate by an editor of really wide reading and 
experience. The learned professor, however, could not be obtained. 
The difficulty of procuring an introducer threatened to postpone 
indefinitely the appearance of the new text (a consideration all the 
more serious since the Surtees edition has long been difficult to 
procure) ; and as texts are far more important than introductions, 
it seemed better to be content to draw attention to a few points 
of interest rather than further to delay publication. 

Short as is the preface to the Surtees edition, it contains much 

x History of the Towneley MS. 

that is of real value, as being written by a local antiquary to whom 
the history and topography of the district to which the plays are 
assigned were thoroughly familiar. I cannot, therefore, make a 
better beginning than by quoting the most essential passages of 
what was written in 1836, since it has not yet been superseded : — 

" The Manuscript Volume in which these Mysteries have been 
preserved formed part of the library at Towneley Hall, in Lanca- 
shire, collected by the family of Towneley ; a family which, in the 
two last centuries, produced several remarkable men, through whom 
it becomes connected with the arts, with literature, and with science. 
The library was dispersed in two sales by auction, at Evans' Booms, 
in Pall Mall, the first in 1814, when there were seven days' sale; 
the second in 1815, when the sale lasted ten days." 

" This manuscript, as well as the famous Towneley Homer, was in 
the first sale. It was bought by John Louis Goldsmid, Esq. From 
his possession it very soon passed to Mr. North, but before 1822 it 
had returned to the family in whose library it had for so many years 
found protection." 

" By what means the Towneley family became possessed of it, or 
at what period is not known. There is nothing known with cer- 
tainty respecting any previous ownership. "When, however, the 
catalogue of the Towneley books and manuscripts was prepared 
for the sale in 1814, Mr. Douce was requested to write a short 
notice, for insertion in it. In this notice, after assigning the com- 
position of the Mj^steries to the reign of Henry VI. or Edward IV., 1 
he says of the volume itself, that it is supposed to liave formerly 
4 belonged to the Abbey of Widkirk, near Wakefield, in the County 
of York.'" 2 

1 There is a passage iu the Indicium which may assist in determining the 
period at which it was written. Tutivillus, in describing a fashionable female, 
tells his brother demons "she is hornyd like a kowe " (p. 312 [Surtees ; p. 375, 
1. 267 in present edition]). He appears to allude to the same description of 
head dress which Stowe thus records : " 13SS, King Richard (the secondT) 
married Anne, daughter of Veselaus, King of Bohem. In her dayes, noble 
women used high attire on their heads, piked like homes, with long trained 
gownes. " — Surtees Note. 

2 After returning into the possession of the Towneley family, as narrated 
above, the Plays were again sold, with the rest of the Towneley MSS., at 
Sotheby's, on June 27, 2S, 1883. The description of the lot was as follows : 

202. Towneley Mysteries. A most valuable collection of early 
English Mysteries, supposed to have been written at Woodkirk in 
the Cell there of Augustinian or Black Canons, for the Amusement 

The Towneley MS. belonged to Woodhirh Abbey. xi 

'" This supposition, however, he appears to have subsequently con- 
sidered as not worthy of much regard ; for when Mr. Peregrine 
Edward Towneley, in 1822, printed, from this manuscript, the 
Indicium, as his contribution to the Roxburgh Club, an introduction 
was written by Mr. Douce, in which he says that the volume is 
1 supposed to have belonged to the Abbey of Whalley,' and to 
have passed at the dissolution into the library of the neighbouring 
family of Towneley." 

" On what foundation either of these suppositions rests we are not 
informed. The first, however, is that which has been most generally 
accepted, and the three principal collections of Mysteries now known 
have been usually quoted or referred to as those of Chester, Coventry, 
and Widkirk." 

" In the absence of precise information, we may assume that the 
supposition of its having formerly belonged to ' the Abbey of Wid- 
kirk ' was the /Towneley tradition respecting it ; and previously to 
any investigation it may be assumed, that if we are to trace the 
possession of such a volume as this in a period before the Reforma- 
tion, next perhaps to the archives of some guild or other corporation 
in one of the cities or towns of England, we may expect to find it in 
the possession of some Conventual society. The question of that 
early possession is, in fact, the question of the composition of these 
Mysteries, as to the place and people. We shall now endeavour to 
determine it." 

" The supposition that this book belonged ' to the Abbey of Wid- 
kirk, near Wakefield,' has upon it remarkably the characteristics of 
a genuine tradition. There is no distinct enunciation of the fact 
which the tradition proposes to exhibit, and yet out of the words 
of the supposition we may decisively and easily extract what the 
fact in it originally was. There is no place called Widkirk in the 

and Edification of Persons attending these Pageants. Manuscript on 
Vellum, ivritten circa 1388, in a bold hand, with initial Letters orna- 
mented with the Pen, having the speeches separated by lines of red Ink, 
olive morocco extra, gold-tooling, tooled leather joints and gilt edges, by 
C. Lewis, bach broken. Saec. xiv. 
The lot was knocked down to Mr. Quaritch, in whose possession the manu- 
script has ever since remained. The date assigned to the plays by the 
cataloguer is clearly derived from the Surtees foot-note on the woman's head- 
gear satirized by Tutivillus ; for a discussion of this, see p. xxiv, Whether the 
date given to the Plays is right or wrong, that assigned to the MS. is certainly 
three-quarters of a century too early. 

xii The Cell of Canons at Woodkirk. 

neighbourhood of Wakefield, and neither there nor in any part of 
England was there ever an Abbey of Widkirk. But there is a place 
called Woodkirk in that neighbourhood, and at Woodkirk there was 
a cell of Augustinian or Black Canons, a dependence on the great 
house of St. Oswald, at Nostel. Whatever weight there may be 
attached to the supposition or tradition respecting the original pos- 
session, must, therefore, be given to the claim of this Cell of Canons 
at Woodkirk." 

" Woodkirk is about four miles to the north of Wakefield. A 
small religious community was established there in the first half 
century after the Conquest, by the Earls Warren, to whom the great 
Lordship of Wakefield belonged, and they were placed in subjection 
to the house of Nostel. King Henry I. granted to the Canons of 
Nostel, a charter, for two fairs, to be held at Woodkirk, one at the 
Eeast of the Assumption, the other at the Feast of the Nativity of 
the Blessed Mary. This grant was confirmed by King Stephen. 
These fairs, in a rural district, continued to attract a concourse of 
people to the time of the Reformation. In the Valor of King 
Henry VIII. the profit of the tolls and stallage was returned at 
,£13 6s. Sd., which was more than one-fourth of the yearly revenue 
of the house. The buildings in which the few Canons resided 
have gradually disappeared. Some portions of the Cloisters were 
remaining not long ago. The Church still exists, on a retired and 
elevated site, and remains of large reservoirs for the Canons' fish in 
the vale below are still very conspicuous. (Loidis and Mmete, 
p. 240.) " 

The writer of the Introduction inserts here a few paragraphs of no 
great value, pointing out resemblances between the language of the 
plays and the dialect spoken in his own day in the West Riding 
of Yorkshire. We may take advantage of his pause to note, that 
Professor Skeat, in a letter to the Athenceum of December 2, 1893, 
proved decisively that the difficulty as to the place called Widkirk, 
of whose existence the writer of the preface could find no trace, is 
only an instance of a variation of spelling, Widkirk being merely 
an older form of Woodkirk, and one which still survives in the 
mouths of the country people (cp. the parallel forms Wydeville and 
Woodville, for the name of the Queen of King Edward IV.). 
After the philological remarks the Introduction proceeds : — 
" Perhaps the supposition in the Towneley family, on whatever it 

Allusions in the Plays to Woodkirk and Wakefield xiii 

may have been founded, and the striking resemblance which there is 
between the language of several of these pieces and the language of 
the same class of society as it may still be heard on the hills and in 
the plains of Yorkshire, may be sufficient to render it at least a 
point of probability that the composition of these Mysteries, and the 
original possession of this volume, are to be attributed to the Canons 
of Woodkirk ; or that the possession is to be traced to them, and the 
composition, perhaps, to some one of the Canons in the far larger 
fraternity at Nostel. But the manuscript itself contains that which 
connects it with Wakefield ; and there are topographical allusions in 
one of the pieces, the Secunda Pastorum, which belong to the 
country near Wakefield and Woodkirk." 

" Thus, at the beginning of the first is written in a large hand 
' Wakefelde ' and ' Berkers,' the meaning of which seems to be, that 
on some occasion this Mystery was represented at the town of 
Wakefield by the company or fellowship of the Barkers or Tanners. 
To the second is prefixed ' Glover Pag . . . ' without the word 
Wakefield. The imperfect word is ' Pagina,' which appears to have 
been used as the Latin term for these kinds of exhibitions or 
pageants. The meaning appears to be that this was exhibited by 
the Glovers. At the head of the third, however, we find ' Wake- 
field' again, without the name of any trade. These are the only 
notices of the kind, except that at the head of the ' Peregrini,' the 
words ' Fyssher Pagent ' x occur." 2 

" It is in the Secunda Pastorum, which is truly described by Mr. 
Collier as ' the most singular piece in the whole collection, ' that the 
local allusions occur which tend so strongly to corroborate the claim 
of Woodkirk and its Canons to the production of these Mysteries. 
Intended in the first instance for the edification or the amusement 
of the persons in the immediate vicinity of the places in which these 
Pageants were to be exhibited, we may expect to find that there will 
be, when the subject fairly admitted of it, attempts to arrest their 
attention, and to interest their minds, by such a simple artifice as the 
introduction of the names of places with which they were familiar. 
Thus, in the Chester Mysteries, the River Conway is spoken of, and 

1 Mr. England notes that these words are in a later hand. — A. W. P. 

2 The words Lytster Play occur at the head of the Pharao. They were 
overlooked by the copyist, but the mistake is noticed in the errata. — Surtees 

>ury Scroggs and the Shepherd's Thorn. 

xiv Horb 

Boughton is mentioned, a kind of suburb to Chester. In th 
Secunda Pastorum. 

Secundus Pastor. Who shuld do us that skorne ? that were a fowlle spott. 
Primus Pastor. Some shrewe. 

I have soght with my doges 

All Horbery shroges 

And of XV hoges 

Fond I bot oone ewe. 

" Horbury is the name of a village about two or three miles south- 
west from Wakefield. Shroges or Scroggs is a northern term applied 
to any piece of rough uninclosed ground more or less covered with 
low brushwood." 

"The other local allusion is less decisive than this. When the 
two Shepherds appoint to meet, the place which they appoint is 'the 
crokyd thorne.' Now, though it cannot, perhaps, be shown that 
there was any place or tree then precisely so denominated, yet it can 
be shown that, at no great distance from Horbury, there was at that 
time a remarkable thorn tree which was known by the name of the 
Shepherd's Thorn. It stood in Mapplewell, near the borders of the 
two manors of Notton and Darton. A jury in the 20th of Edward 
IV., on a question between James Strangeways of Harlsey, and the 
Prior of Bretton, found that the Shepherd's Thorn ' was in Darton ' ; 
and in the time of Charles L, one John Webster of Kexborough, 
then aged 77, deposed that the inhabitants of Mapplewell and 
Darton had been accustomed to turn their sheep on the moor at all 
times, and that it extended southward to a place called ' The Shep- 
herd's Thorn,' where a thorn tree stood. There must be here more 
than an accidental coincidence." 

Since the publication of the Surtees Society edition of the 
Towneley Plays in 1836, all the three other great cycles of 
English Miracle Plays have been printed, the so-called ' Coventry ' 
cycle in 1841, the Chester in 1843, and the York Plays, admirably 
edited by Miss Toulmin Smith, in 1885. The publication of 
this last cycle revealed the fact that five of the York Plays 
were based, in whole or in part, on the same originals as five 
of the Towneley. The importance of this discovery for the study 
of Miracle Plays and of the conditions under which they were 
produced, is hardly to be over-estimated. There is no reason to 
believe that it is by a mere chance, some peculiarly malicious freak of 

The Miracle Plays anonymous. The York Cycle. xv 

the arch-enemy Time, that, as far as I am aware, in no single case are 
there two early copies extant of any miracle play. Human nature, 
we may presume, was much the same in the fourteenth and fifteenth 
centuries as in our own, and the ordinary author, when he had 
written a poem or a chronicle, no doubt did everything in his power 
to multiply copies of it, since every fresh copy would increase his 
chance of obtaining the patronage or preferment which constituted 
the rewards of authorship in those days. But in the case of plays we 
can easily see that a wholly different motive would come into action. 
With the highly doubtful exception of the Chester cycle, not a single 
Miracle Play has the name of any author connected with it. The 
author's personality is wholly lost in that of the actors and their pay- 
masters ; and in the absence of any law of copyright or custom as to 
' acting rights,' it was to the interest of these jealously to guard their 
book of the words, lest the popularity of their entertainment should 
suffer from unauthorized rivalry. Since many of the players probably 
could not read, even the multiplication of ' actors' parts ' would be 
very limited, and fresh copies would only be made when the plays 
underwent revision. The apparent exception to this theory, the five 
copies extant of the Chester cycle, really only confirm it, for all of 
these were made between 1590 and 1607, and must owe their exist- 
ence to the desire of literary antiquaries either simply for their pre- 
servation or, more probably, for their revival, at a time when miracle 
plays were almost gone out of fashion. 

For the reason thus hazarded, opportunities for the study of the 
genesis of any given cycle of plays are extremely small. We know 
that a fragment of the old poem of the Harrowing of Hell, beginning, 
' Harde gatys haue I gon,' is found imbedded in the ' Coventry ' Play 
of the Eesurrection, and, thanks once more to the industry of Miss 
Toulmin Smith, in the Brome ' Common-Place Book ' we can now 
study a version of the Sacrifice of Isaac closely similar to that in the 
Chester cycle. But the relations of the five plays in the York and 
Towneley cycles are much more interesting and important than these, 
and it will be worth while to examine them with some minuteness. 

The first of these five plays is that called by Miss Smith, ' the 
Departure of the Israelites from Egypt,' No. xi. in the York Cycle, 1 
acted by the ' Hoseers,' No. vm. in tlie Towneley Cycle, where it is 

1 Printed, with the generous addition of the Towneley text at the foot 
of the page, on pp. 68—92 of Miss Smith's edition ( York Plays. Edited by 
Lucy Toulmin Smith. Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1885). 

xvi The Towneley and York Plays of Pharaoh. 

called Pharao, and where also the sidenote ' Litsters Pagonn ' informs 
us that it is one of the plays acted by the Craft-Gilds of Wakefield. 
In comparing the two texts, the first point we notice is, that 
while the York Play consists of 408 1 lines, divided with unbroken 
regularity into 34 twelve-line stanzas, the metrical scheme of the 
Towneley Play is far less orderly. At the outset, indeed, it is 
evident that the Wakefield reviser mistook the metre, for by the 
addition of a quatrain of mere surplusage, he has turned the first 1 2- 
line stanza into two octetts. After seven long stanzas (divided in 
this text into octetts and quatrains, 3 — 16), we find similar additions 
in 11. 113 — 117 and 127 — 133, turning two 12-line stanzas into four 
octetts. Everything then proceeds regularly till we come to Towneley 
stanza 49, when we find a line — 

Als wele on myddyng als on more 

— missing after 1. 308. 

Again in stanza 55 the two lines — 

Lorde, was they wente than walde it sese, 
So shuld we save vs and oure seede 

—are omitted after 1. 340. 

In stanzas 57, 58,11. 355 — 359 appear in the Towneley MS. as— 

Primus Miles. A, my lord ! 
Pharao. hagh ! 

ijus Miles. Grete pestilence is comyn ; 

It is like ful long to last. 
Pharao. In the dwilys name ! 

then is oure pride ouer past. 

— in place of the regular York text (11. 344 — 348) — 

i Egip. My lorde, grete pestelence 

Is like ful lange to last. 
Bex. Owe ! come that in oure presence, 

Than is oure pride al past. 

Lastly, we find that the Towneley text has added, or more probably 
retained, twelve lines at the end of the play which do not appear in 
the York edition. 

If now we turn our attention to single lines, we shall find 
numerous instances in which the Towneley text exhibits an unmetrical 
corruption of the York. Here are a few — 

1 Numbered by Miss Smith as 406, but the last couplet is really a quatrain, 
and might with advantage have been so printed. 

Towneley and York Plays of Pharaoh and the Doctors, xvii 

That wold my fors down fell (T. 32) 

That wolde aught fand owre forse to fell (Y. 28) 

That shall euer last (T. 39) 

They are like and they laste (Y. 34) 

I shall sheld the from shame (T. 189) 

I sail the saffe from synne and shame (Y. 176) 

"What, ragyd the dwyll of hell, alys you so to cry (T. 304) 
What deuyll ayles you so to crye (Y. 291) (cp. T. 337 and .415, 
Y. 334 and 403) 

On the other hand, T. 106— 

And euer elyke the leyfes are greyn 
— is plainly better than Y. 102 — 

And the leues last ay in like grene 
—and T. 216, 217 — 

God graunt you good weyndyng, 
And euermore with you be 

— both for their sense and the purity of the rime to ' kyng ' are better 

than Y. 203, 204— 

God sende vs gude tythingis 
And all may with you be. v 

Lastly we may take a pair of lines — 

My lord, bot if this menye may remeve (T. 270) 
Lord, whills ve [sic] with this nienyhe meve (Y. 277) 

— in which we may reasonably suspect that both texts are corrupt 
forms of some such original as — 

My lord, bot if this menye meve. 

The inevitable conclusion from these notes is, that the Towneley 
text of Pharao is a corrupted and edited version of the York play of 
' The Hoseers ' in a slightly purer form than we have it at present. 
I think we may also say that the majority of the corruptions in the 
Towneley text are of the kind which would most naturally arise in 
oral transmission, rather than from the blunders of a scribe. 

Turning now to the second play in which the two cycles partly 
agree, The Play of the Doctors (Towneley xviii. ; York xxn., 
played by the ' Sporiers and Loriners '), we find that the Towneley 
text, which lacks the opening speech of - Primus Magister,' begins in 
its present form with twelve quatrains which are quite different 
from the York version, and then follows closely the York twelve-line 
stanzas to the end, only interrupting them to substitute a longer 

T. PLAYS. b 

xviii Towneley and York Plays of Harrowing and Resurrection. 

exposition of the Ten Commandments, for which again quatrains are 
used. In some instances, as before, the Towneley text is better than 
the York, but we cannot doubt that the nearly homogeneous 1 York 
play represents the original on which the Towneley playwright 
incorporated his variations in a different metre. 

A comparison of the third pair of plays — the York play of the 
Sadilleres (No. xxxvu.) and Towneley No. xxv. — representing 
the Extraccio Ardmarum or Harrowing of Hell, yields still more 
striking results. The York play, as usual quite regular, consists of 
34 twelve-line stanzas, and it is clear that the Towneley play-wright 
had these in his mind all the way through, though sometimes, perhaps 
from failure of memory on the part of his informants, he can do no 
more than imbed a few York lines into new stanzas of his own, while 
elsewhere he makes intentional additions. 

Summarizing the result of these changes, we find that the first 
twenty-four lines of Towneley reproduce ten from York ; then we have 
York stanzas 4 — 10 with interpolations between 4 and 5, 8 and 9, and 
the omission of the last quatrain of 5. Stanzas 11 and 12 are repre- 
sented by 11. 1 1 5 — 147, but only nine lines are preserved. Stanzas 13 — 
15 are intact • stanza 16 is docked of its first quatrain • then we have 
an interpolation of twelve lines; then the first quatrain of 17, the 
second and third being expanded into twelve lines. Stanzas 18 — 28 
are only interrupted by an interpolation (11. 314 — 322) between 25 
and 26. In 29 there is a substitution of a new third quatrain for 
four lines in the octett, the effect being so good that we may doubt 
whether in this case we have not really a preservation of an older 
text. Then come stanzas 30 and 31, and eight lines of 32, and with 
two substituted quatrains the Towneley play reaches its rather abrupt 

In the fourth pair of plays, treating of 'The Eesurrection ' 
(York xxxviii. ' The Carpenteres' : Towneley xxvi.), the resemblance 
begins four lines earlier than Miss Toulmin Smith has noted, T. 41 
—44 answering to Y. 31, 32, 35, 36, while the 'rybaldys' of T. 42 
is a better reading than the York ' rebelles.' In the preceding speech 
of Pilate we may note how the Towneley adaptor altered the York 
metre by lengthening the last line of the first four stanzas from two 
beats to three. We find the same difference in the added stanzas 9 
— 11 (11. 51 — 73), while five (or rather seven) lines tacked on to the 

1 There is a slight disturbance, in which Towneley agrees, in York, stanzas 
19, 20 (11. 216—240) and Towneley, stanzas 44—46 (11. 204—228). 

Towneley and York Plays nf the Resurrection. xix 

last of these are outside the metrical scheme altogether. Stanzas 
12 and 13 have half their lines as in York and half new. Stanzas 
14 — 22, though with many corruptions, reproduce York 11 — 22. 
Stanza 23 is added ; 24 (which should have been printed as in four 
lines) agrees with York 20, omitting the two opening lines ; 25, 
save in its third line, is the same as York 21. In stanza 26 some of 
the York phrases are retained, but every line has been changed, and 
the bad rimes 'emang' and 'stand' show the work of a botcher. 
After this, with various corruptions, too numerous to mention, stanzas 
27 — 35 reproduce York 23 — 31, 'but there is nothing in the York 
play to answer to 11. 214 — 333 (stanzas 36 — 55). The first ten of 
these 120 lines continue the talk of the soldiers, the rest is made up 
of the monologue of the risen Christ. The metre continues regular ; 
with a few exceptions, the origin of which can easily be seen, the 
last line of each stanza remains quadrisyllable, instead of being 
lengthened as in the added stanzas at the beginning of the play, and 
I think there can be no doubt that this speech of Christ once formed 
part of the York Cycle, but was subsequently omitted. Similar 
speeches occur in the ' Coventry ' and Chester cycles, and in the 
last-named there are some positive resemblances which, in case they 
have not been noticed before, I set forth in a footnote. 1 

It will be noticed that this play falls naturally into three parts, 
of which Christ's monologue is the centre ; and it is much easier to 

1 Towneley, 11. 226—231. Chester, vol. 2, p. 89. (Sh. Soc. ed.) 

Erthly man, that I haue wroght Eirthly man that I have wroughte, 

Wight! y wake, and slepe thou noght ! Awake out of thy slepe ; 
With bytter bay 11 I haue the boght, Eirthly man that / Jmve bought, 

To make the fre ; Of me thou have no kepe. 

Into this dongeon depe I soght From heaven man's soule I soughte 

And all for luf of the. Into a dongion depe 

My dere lemon from thense I broughte 
11. 322—327. For ruthe of her I weepe. 

ffor I am veray prynce of peasse, i" am vereye prince of 'peace, 

And synnes seyr I may releasse, And kinge of free mercye ; 

And whoso will of synnes seasse Who will of synnes have release 

And mercy cry, On me the call and crye. 

And yf the will of synnes cease 
I grauntt theym here a measse i" graunte them peace trewlye, 

In brede myn awn body. And therto a full rich messye, 

In brede my owne bodye. 
The verbal resemblances here seem almost too close to be explained by a 
common original. If there has been direct transmission, it must have been 

xx Towneley and York Plays of Resurrection and Last Judgment. 

believe that in some process oi amalgamating or dividing the different 
parts, this speech was omitted from the York manuscript, than 
that so important a feature in the plays was not represented in the 

After 1. 333 in Towneley, etc., agreement between the two cycles 
is resumed, and continues, with the usual verbal variations, to 1. 561, 
the agreement of the stanzas being as follows — 





56—66 = 


88 partly 



67 = 

parts of 43, 44 




68—85 = 





86, 87 

64, 65 

Stanzas 63, 66 and 69 of York are unrepresented. L. 562 in 
Towneley is extra metrum, and cuts short the rather wearisome talk 
of Pilate which lasts in the York play for another eighteen lines. 
The scene between Christ and S. Mary Magdalene, which follows in 
the Towneley cycle, forms a separate play (No. xxxix.) in the York, 
and there are no textual resemblances. It will be noticed that of 
the first eight of the eleven stanzas into which it is divided, every 
one has a different metre — a sure sign, I think, of the hasty work 
rendered necessary by an incident which could not be omitted having 
to be tacked on to a different play. 

The case of the last of the five parallel texts, that of the play 
of the Last Judgment (Towneley xxx. Judicium; York xlviii. 
acted by the ' Merceres '), is again very striking and interesting. The 
Towneley play, unfortunately, lacks some lines (the speech of 
' Primus Malus ') at the beginning, and the first sixteen lines which 
have been preserved to us, written in two different metres, are additions 
to the York text. The next three stanzas, with the exception of the 
last half of the fourth, are founded on York stanzas 19 — 21, then 
we have an inserted speech by ' Quartus Mains' (32 lines), then 
two more York stanzas, then the broad comedy of the Demons 
(stanzas 16 — 48, 11. 89 — 384), which takes the place of a short 
passage in York (11. 185— 228), the greater part of which is occupied 
by the speeches of Christ and the Apostles. After 1. 385 the bor- 
rowings begin again, and for the whole of the Judgment-scene 
proper (Towneley, st. 49—67,11. 386— 531 = York, st. 30-47,11. 
229 — 372), the regular 8-line stanzas of the York dramatist are only 
interrupted by a single insertion of four lines (st. 65). But between 

The Tests of a harrowed Play. xxi 

the final dooming of the damned and the thanksgiving of the saved 
(1. G12 — 620), the Towneley play-Wright inserts a long passage in 
which the fiends gloat over their victims, and this is all his own. 
Where the last stauza was taken from we cannot say. It is quite 
different from the York text, and bears more resemblance to the 
Towneley ending of the Extraccio Animarum (p. 305). 

The foregoing conspectus of the points of agreement and disagree- 
ment between the Towneley and York texts of these five plays has 
probably been found almost as tedious to read as it certainly was to 
compile. But it was worth while to work it out in lull, since the 
most cursory perusal of it must suffice to show that, in the circum- 
stances under which the borrowings took place, it was practically 
impossible for a play to pass from one cycle to another without 
showing signs of the process in marked disturbances of metre and 
frequent corruptions both of sense and rhyme* It follows from this 
that wherever we find a play (not merely a fragment) the metre of 
which is uniform, or is obviously varied only in correspondence with 
the character of the speakers, while at the same time the rhymes are 
regular and the text good, in the absence of positive evidence to the 
contrary we are not only entitled, but bound, to assume that the play 
was composed for the place and the cycle to which it now belongs. 
A play full of obvious corruptions need not be a borrowed play, 
because corruptions may have arisen in many other ways ; but a play 
which is creditably free from corruptions can hardly by any 
possibility have been borrowed. 

Now if we apply this canon to the Towneley Plays, it will enable 
us to set some limit to the amount of imported work which Ave can 
safely recognize as existing in the cycle as it has come down to us. 
Long before the publication of the York Plays, the composite 
character of the Towneley was recognized by its first editor, though 
the reasons he assigned were less happy than his surmise itself, 1 and 
later writers have not failed to enlarge on the point. It thus 
becomes interesting to see how much of the cycle we can claim on 
sure evidence as composed especially for it. It is no bad beginning 
to be able to say at once, at least one-fourth, and this the fourth 
which contains the finest and most original -work. The evidence for 

now know to be mainly borrowed from the York cycle, and remarks " Cccmr 
Augustus is plainly by the same hand as Pharo.o. The heroes in both swear by 
' Mahowne ' " — a habit shared by most potentates in miracle plays. 

xx ii The 5 best Toivnelcy Plays by a Genius. 

this is irresistible. We find the Wakefield or Wood kirk editor inter- 
polating two broadly humorous scenes, the one containing 297 lines, 
the other 81, on the impressive York play of the Judgment. These 
scenes are written in a complex metre, a 9-line stanza riming aaaa 
beech, with central rimes in the first four lines (I should prefer to 

write it - — edddc), and we find this same metre used with admir- 

able regularity throughout five long plays, viz. — 

in. Processus Noe cum iiliis 558 lines 

xii. Prima Pastorum 502 (2 lines lost) 

xiii. Secunda Pastorum l 754 (2 lines lost) 

xiv. Magnus Herodes 513 

xxi. Coliphizacio 450 

• — or, including the two passages in tire Judicium ,in no less than 3155 
lines, occupying in this edition almost exactly 100 pages out of 396. 
If any one will read these plays together, I think he cannot fail to 
feel that they are all the work of the same writer, and that this 
writer deserves to be ranked — if only we knew his name ! — at least 
as high as Langland, and as an exponent of a rather boisterous kind 
of humour had no equal in his own day. We may also be sure that 
the two other plays, Flarjellacio (No. xxn.) and Processus Tcdentomm 
(No. xxiv.), contain about the same proportion of his work as does 
the Judicium. They are closely akin to the Coliphizacio, and contain 
the one 24, the other 8 of his favourite stanzas. 

For one other play which it is very tempting to assign to the 
same hand, the Mactacio Abel (No. it.), we lack the evidence of 
identity of metre ; in fact, the frequent changes from one metrical form 
to another would make us suspect that we had here an instance of 
editing, if it were not quite impossible to isolate from the present 
text any underlying original. Put the extraordinary boldness of the 
play, and the character of its humour, make it difficult to dissociate 
it from the work of the author of the Shepherds' Plays, and I cannot 
doubt that this also, at least in part, must be added to his credit. 

When the work of this man of real genius has been eliminated, 
the search for another Wakefield, or Woo.dkirk, author becomes 
distinctly less interesting. It will be worth while, however, now to 
pass the whole cycle in review, adding what notes we can to each 
play, especially as to their metres. 

1 This play is further stamped as especially composed for the Wakefield 
district by the allusion to ' Horbiuy ' noted above, p. xiv. 





/ VII. 
\ IX. 
J X. 
V XI. 
/ XII. 








xx b . 









Noah. 9-line stanza ;,,', , 2 c 1 ddd 2 c 2 , 

The List of the Towncley Plays and their Metres, xxiii 

i. Creation. Couplets (aa 4 ) and stanzas, mostly aa 4 b 3 a 4 b 3 . Connected 
with Barkers of Wakefield. 
ii. Abel. Metres very confused. Apparently a bold rehandling of an 
earlier and simpler play. Connected with [Wakefield] Glovers. 

Connected with Wakefield. 
bbbb 2 

Abraham, abababab 4 . Cp. No. xix. 
Isaac. Fragments of 35 couplets (aa 4 ). 
Jacob. Fragments of 71 couplets (aa 4 ). 

[vii.] Pharaoh. abababab 4 cdcd 3 , with many corruptions. Con- 
nected with Litsters of Wakefield. Based on York XI. 

[vin.] Processus Prophetarum. aa 4 b 3 cc 4 b 3 , less often aa 4 b 3 aa 4 b 3 . 

Caesar Augustus. aa 4 b 3 na 4 b 3 . 

Annunciation. Conplets (aa 4 ) and stanzas aa 3 b 3 cc 4 b 3 . 

Salutation. aa 4 b 3 cc 4 b 3 . 

Prima Pastorum. 9-line stanza, as III. 

Secunda Pastorum. As xn. 

Magi. aaa 4 b 2 a 4 b 2 , with four disturbances. Alliterative. 

Flight into Egypt. ababaabaab 3 c 1 b 3 c 2 . Alliterative. 

Herod. 9-line stanza as in., etc. 

Purification. aaa 4 b 2 ccc 4 b 2 and aa 4 b 3 cc 4 b 3 . 

Doctors. abababab 4 cdcd 3 , with corruptions and interpolations. 

Based on York xxiii. 
John the Baptist, abababab 4 . Cp. No. iv. 
Conspiracio. abababab 4 cdcd 3 . Speech of Pilate prefixed in 9-line 

Capcio. Couplets and quatrains (aa 4 and abab 4 ) with interpolations. 
Coliphizacio. 9-line stanza, as III., &c. 

Flagellacio. Mixed metres. About half the play in 9 -line stanzas. 
Processus Crucis. Much edited and interpolated from an original 

basis of aa'Vcc 4 !) 3 . " 
Processus Talentorum. Metres very confused. Much interpolation. 
JSxtraccio Animarum. abababab 4 cdcd 3 , with additions and corrup- 
tions. Based on York xxxvu. 
Resurrection. aaa 4 b 2 a 4 b 2 , with many corruptions and interpolations. 

Based on York xxxvin. 
Peregrini. aaa 4 b 2 a 4 b 2 , with corruptions and interpolations. 
S. Thomas. aa 4 b 3 cc 4 b 3 followed by a 4 b 3 a 4 b 3 a% 3 a 4 b a . 
Ascension. Metres very confused. 

Judgment. Based on abababab 4 of York xlviii., with interpola- 
tions of abababab 3 and 8-line stanzas. 
Lazarus. Couplets with stanzas in several different metres. 
Suspeneio hide. Fragment in aaa 4 b 2 a 4 b 2 . [Cp. xxvi., xxvii.] 

In this conspectus, besides the plays written in the 8-line stanza, 
we may note that we have two fragments (Nos. iv. and. v.) written in 
couplets on the history of Isaac and Jacob ; two plays, the Creation 
(No. i.) and Annunciation (No x.), in which couplets are joined with 
a 6-line stanza rhyming aa 4 b 3 cc 4 b 3 , or aa 4 b 3 aa 4 b 3 , and three plays, 

xxiv Prof. Ten-Brink on ' Jacob and Emu', 'Isaac and Jacob.' 

the Processus Prophetarum (No. vn. ; it should of course change 
places with the Pharaoh, No. vin.), the Caesar Augustus (No. ix.) 
and Salutation (No. xi.) } written throughout in this stanza, which is 
also employed for parts of the plays of the Purification (No. xvil), 
Processus Crucis (No. xxiil), and S. Thomas of India (xxviii.). 

As to the two fragments (iv. and v.) the late Professor Ten-Brink 
wrote 1 — 

" About a generation — but hardly much more — separates this 
oldest extant English drama [i. e. the Harrowing of Hell, ' composed 
shortly after the middle of the thirteenth century '] from the next. 
The play of Jacob and Esau, as we take the liberty of calling it, 
appears to have been composed not far from the mouth of the 
Humber, and probably to the north of the dialect line. The influ- 
ence of the East Midlands is seen in the choice of subject, which 
was not popular on the earlier stage elsewhere, and the manner of 
treatment also reminds us of the districts and the century which 
produced the poems of Genesis and Exodus." 

" In Jacob and Esau the dramatic art is still of a low standard ; 
the situations are not made much use of ; the characteristics show little 
depth or originality. The poet is full of reverence for his subject, 
and dramatizes faithfully what seems to him its most important 
traits, without putting to it much of his own originality," etc. 

In his Appendix (vol. in. p. 274), Prof. Ten-Brink supported this 
view of the play with the following note — 

" This play has been handed down in the Towneley Collection : 
unfortunately it is mutilated at the beginning, and also divided into 
two parts : Isaac and Jacob. However, it originally formed, and, in 
fact, still forms, one drama, which was produced independently 
without regard to any cycle of mysteries, and indeed earlier than 
most of the others, probably than all the other parts of the cycle in 
which it was subsequently incorporated. All this can easily be 
proved by means now at the disposal of philology, but this is not 
the place for entering into the subject. Less certain is the local origin 
of the piece. The assumption that few of the rhyming words have 
been altered in their transmission could, for instance, allow of the 
supposition that the drama might have been produced in the north 
of the East-Midland territory, rather than in the southern districts of 
Northumbria, a supposition which would coincide very well with 
many other peculiarities of the work." 

I have quoted these passages from Prof. Ten-Brink in full, 
because the opinion of the writer who has produced the only really 
good history of our early literature, is a thqusand times more import- 
ant than my own. But my difficulties in accepting his theory in 
1 History of English Literature (English edition), vol. ii. p. 244. 

The different Groups of the Towneley Plays. 


its entirety are both numerous and great. The Harrowing of Hell 
itself seems to me — as it has seemed to my betters before me — rather a 
dramatic poem than a Miracle Play properly so called, and I cannot 
conceive on what occasion, or by whom, an isolated play on Jacob 
and Esau could come to be acted in the vernacular. In a cycle, the 
presence of a play on Abraham might easily suggest a continuation 
dealing with his immediate descendants, and its simpler and more 
archaic form might be partly accounted for by the nature of its 
subject. I should prefer, also, to attribute differences of dialect to 
the removal from one district to another of a play- writing monk, 
rather than to the acceptance in one district of a play which had 
been composed for another many years before. It is obvious, 
however, that these two fragments do belong to a period, whether 
prae-cyclic or cyclic, at which the narrative and didactic interest 
of the representation was uppermost, and before the constantly 
increasing importation of external attractions had produced a 
distaste for the simpler and more exclusively religious form of 
drama. We know from Chaucer's allusions, as well as from the 
evidence of the York plays, that by the last quarter of the fourteenth 
century Noah and his quarrelsome wife and the ranting Herods and 
Pilates were already stock characters, and we may thus well believe 
that the cycle ' of matter from the beginning of the world ' in its 
simplest form, must have been in existence during the first half of 
that century. The fact that this play has only come to us in 
fragments, is probably good evidence that it was considered anti- 
quated at the time our manuscript was written, and that only a few 
speeches from it were used. 

I must confess, however, that I cannot find anything either in the 
style or the language of these fragments which need compel us to 
separate them from the couplets in the play of the Creation and the 
Annunciation ; and I incline strongly to believe that in these plays, 
and the others which I have mentioned as written wholly or 
partly in the aa 4 b 3 cc 4 b 3 stanza, we possess part of an original didactic 
cycle, of much the same tone as the Chester Plays, on to which 
other plays, mostly written in a more popular style, have been tacked 
from time to time. In any case I do not think it can be doubted 
that the four plays, vn., ix., x., and XL, are the work of the same 
writer, and the rest seem to me to go with them. 

The plays of the Magi (xiv.) and of the Flight into Egypt (xv.) are 
marked olf from this group by their much greater use of alliteration, 

xxvi Groups of the Plays. Date of the Shepherds Plays. 

and seem to me — though my opinion on questions of dialect is worth 
very little — to have been written by an author of somewhat different 
speech. The Abraham and John the Baptist again are in a totally 
different metre, and may belong to the period when the York plays 
were being incorporated into the cycle. As regards these York plays, 
enough has already been said ; but it is worth noting that the pre- 
dominant metre of the Consplracio (xx a .) is the same as that of three 
out of the live plays connected with York (the Pharaoh, Doctor, and 
Extraccio Animarum), and may possibly be based on a lost alternative 
to the extant York play on this subject. A similar guess may be 
hazarded as to the play of the Peregrini (xxvu.), the metre of which 
is the same as that of the Resurrectio (xxvi., York xxxviii.), while the 
obvious corruptions and interpolations of the text may well lead us to 
doubt its being indigenous. The fragment of the Susjiencio Iude, 
printed at the end of the cycle, but which would naturally come 
immediately before the Resurrectio, is in the same metre, and subject 
to the same hypothesis. 

As regards the work of the one real genius of the Towneley cycle, 
the author of the two plays of the Shepherds, and of the others 
written in the same metre, the converse of the arguments of which 
we admitted the force as regards the Isaac and the Jacob, will 
naturally lead us to assign to them as late a date as possible. 

As noted by the Surtees editor, the allusion in the Judicium 
to the head-gear which could make a woman look ' horned like a 
cow,' enables us to be sure that this play-wright was a younger 
contemporary of Chaucer. We must not, indeed, like the cataloguer 
of the auction-room, argue that because Stow writes that in the 
days of Anne of Bohemia ' noble women used high attire on their 
heads, piked like homes,' therefore these plays may be assigned 
approximately to the date of her arrival in England". I imagine 
that in those days as in these the fashions in the Yorkshire country- 
side were apt to be a little behind those of London ; the piked 
head-gear is found in manuscripts as late as about 1420 (e.g. Harl. 
2897, f. 188 b , and Harl. 4431, f. 2, kindly pointed out to me 
by Sir E. M. Thompson), 1 and the other allusions of these 
plays, e< g. the reference to tennis (Sec. Past. 736), the frequent 

1 See also Lydgate's 15th century 'Dyte of Womenhis Hornys' in his 
Minor Poems, Percy Soc. p. 46-9, and Harl. MSS. 2255, 2251, etc. Horns were 
in fashion in the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries ; see Fairholt's Costume in 
England, ed. Dillon, 1885, ii. 224-5, and Planche's paper therein named. — F. J. F. 

Date of Shepherds' Plays. Three Stages of Toicneley Plays, xxvii 

and rather learned talk about music (See. Past. 186 — 89, G56 — GO, 
Judicium 537, 538), and the general talk of Shepherds and Devils 
about the state of the country l — all agree very well with the early 
years of the fifteenth century. In a writer so full of allusions, 
the absence of any reference to fighting tends, I think, to show 
that the plays were not written during the war with France, and 
thus everything seems to point to the reign of Henry IV. as the 
most likely date of their composition. The date of our text is 
probably about half a century later, but the example of the York 
Plays shows us that in its own habitat the text of a play could 
be preserved in tolerable purity for a longer period than this. 
In the direction of popular treatment it was impossible for any 
editor, however much disposed towards tinkering, to think he could 
improve on the play-wright of the 9 -line stanzas, while it is reasonable 
to presume that the hold of these plays on the Yorkshire audience 
was sufficiently strong to resist the intrusion of didactics. 

As regards the only plays not yet mentioned in the survey, the Capcio 
(xx b .), Processus Talentorum (xxiv.), Ascension (xxix b .) and Lazarus, 
there has been so much editing and interpolating, and the consequent 
mixture of metres is so great, that it is difficult to arrive at any clear 
conclusion about them. 2 But, subject to such corrections as the 
survey of the dialect now being undertaken by Dr. Matthews may 
suggest, I think we may fairly regard this Towneley cycle as built 
up in at least three distinct stages. In the first of these we find the 
simple religious tone which we naturally assign to the beginning of 
the cyclical religious drama, the majority of them being written in 
one of the favourite metres of the fourteenth-century romances which 
were already going out of fashion in Chaucer's day. 3 In the second 

1 Note especially the allusions to 'maintenance' in Let. Past. 1. 35, and 
the claim of Tutivillus to he a ' master lollar ' in Jud. 213. 

2 The Lazarus, for instance, seems to be built up in three layers, the last of 
them the grim passage on death being strikingly in the style of some of the 
9-line stanzas. 

3 A curious reminiscence of these romances is preserved in stanza 26 of the 
Processus Prophetarum : 

Now haue I songen you a fytt ; 
loke in mynd that ye haue it, 

I rede with my myght ; 
He that maide vs with his wytt, 
Sheld vs all from hell pytt, 

And graunt us heuen lyght 

— which might have come straight out of a romance. 

xxviii The three Stages, and the Home of the Towncley Plays. 

stage we have the introduction by some playwright, who brought 
the knowledge of them from elsewhere, of at least five — possibly 
seven or eight — of the plays which were acted at York, and the 
composition of some others in the same style. In the third stage 
a writer of genuine dramatic power, whose humour was unchecked 
by any respect for conventionality, wrote, especially for this cycle, 
the plays in the 9-line stanza which form its backbone, and added 
here and there to others. Taken together, the three stages probably 
cover something like half a century, ending about 1410, though 
subsequent editors may have tinkered here and there, as editors will, 
and much allowance must be made for continual corruption by the 

It may be as well to note here that whatever weight we may be 
disposed to attach to the tradition that the cycle belonged to the 
Woodkirk monks and was acted at Woodkirk Fair, it is impossible 
to believe that the plays noted in the MS. as connected with 
Wakefield form in any way a group by themselves, The Barkers' 
play of the Creation, however much edited, belongs in its origin to 
our first stage ; the Pharaoh, played by the Wakefield Litsters, but 
based on York XL, to our second, to which also I should assign the 
Peregrini played by the Fishers, written in the metre of the York 
Resurrectio. Lastly, the Noah, against which Wakefield is written, is 
in the 9-line stanza of the Shepherds' Plays, and the Glovers' play of 
Abel, whether re-written by the same author or not, is, in its present 
form, certainly late work. With the exception of the Fishers, we 
might say, without much exaggeration, that all the three crafts 
named, Dyers, Tanners, and Glovers, had some connection with the 
sheep, their hides and wool, which were probably the chief com- 
modities sold at the Woodkirk fair, 1 and so might have taken a 
special interest in any pageant likely to bring customers to it. But 
we are bound to remember that the connection with Woodkirk is 
a mere tradition, and that it is quite possible that the whole cycle 
belongs to Wakefield, which is the only place with which it is 
authoritatively connected. 

To bring literary criticism to bear on a cycle built up, even 
approximately, in the manner which I have suggested, is no easy 

1 If the Fishers, as at York, were allied with the Mariners, they too might 
be dragged in as concerned with the export trade. If they were Fishers, * purs 
et simples,' one is tempted to say that they may have lent a hand at play- 
acting for the lack of sufficient employment in an inland town ! 

The poetic worth of the Towneley Plays. xxix 

task. The plays were not written for our reading, but for the 
edification and amusement of the uncritical audience of their own 
day; and we can certainly say of them that, whatever effect the 
playwright aimed at, he almost always attained. Of the simply 
devotional plays the Annunciation seems to me the finest. The whole 
of this play, indeed, is full of tenderness ; and there are touches in 
it in which Eossetti, if he knew it, must have delighted. The 
reconciliation between Joseph and the Blessed Virgin is delightful ; 
and the passage in which Joseph describes his enforced marriage 
is really poetically written. One verse is especially quotable : 

Whan I all thus had wed hir thare, 
We and my madyns home can fare, 

That kyngys daughters were ; 
All wroght thay sylk to find them on, 
Marie ivroght purpyll, the oder none 

hot other e colers sere. 

If this touch had been entirely of the dramatist's own invention he 
must, indeed, have been Eossetti's spiritual forbear ; but it is needless 
to say that it comes from the apocryphal gospel of Mary, though he 
deserves all credit for bringing together two widely separated verses. 1 

The plays which I have put into my second group are on the 
whole very dull. The dramatist of the Abraham could not fail to 
attain to some pathos in the treatment of the scene between Isaac 
and his father ; but though he avoids the mistake of the York play- 
wright who represented Isaac as a man of thirty, his handling of" the 
scene is distinctly inferior to that of the Brome Play and the 
Chester cycle. The general characteristic, indeed, of the group is, 
that the playwright plods persevering!;^ through his subject, but 
never rises above the level of the honest journeyman. 

Between the dull work and the abounding humour and constant 

1 Chap. vi. 7 : " But the Virgin of the Lord, Mary, with seven other virgins 
of the same age, who had been appointed to . attend her by the priest, 
returned to her parents' house in Galilee;" and Chap. iv. 1 — 4: "And it 
came to pass, in a council of the priests it was said, ' Let us make a new veil for 
the temple of the Lord.' And the high-priest said, ' Call together to me seven 
undefiled virgins of the tribe of David. ' And the servants went and brought 
them unto the temple of the Lord ; and the high-priest said unto them, ' Cast 
lots before me now, who of you shall spin the golden thread, who the blue, who 
the scarlet, who the fine linen, and who the true purple.' Then the high-priest 
knew Mary, that she was of the tribe of David ; and he called her, and the 
true purple fell to her lot to spin, and she went away to her own house." 
(Hone's Apocryphal Gospels, 1820.) 

xxx The Writer of the Shepherds Plays probably a Monk. 

allusiveness of the author of the plays in the 9-line stanza, the 
distance can only be measured by the two words respectability and 
genius. It is all the more pleasant to use the first to denote the dull 
level from which he keeps aloof, in that I have a strong suspicion 
that during his life the author of our -9-line stanza plays may 
have been censured for the lack of this very quality. His sympathy 
with poor folk, and his dislike of the " gentlery men " who oppressed 
them, seem something more than conventional ; and his satire is 
sometimes as grim as it is free. From his frequent allusions to 
music, his scraps of Latin and allusions to Latin authors, his dislike 
of Lollards, and the daring of some of his phrases, which seems to 
surpass what would have been permitted to a layman, it is probable 
that he was in orders ; and the vision of the Friar Tuck of Peacock's 
Maid Marian rises up before me as I read his plays. As a dramatist 
it is difficult to praise him too highly, if we remember the limitations 
under which he worked, and the feeble efforts of his contemporaries 
and successors. 

The Secunda Pastorum, the survival of which "in Archie Arm- 
strong's Aith " Prof. Kolbing has so pleasantly illustrated (see his 
Appendix), is really perfect as a work of art ; and if in the Prima 
Pastorum our author was only feeling his way, and in the Noah, 
Herod, etc., was cramped by the natural limitation of his subject, we 
have the more reason to regret that a writer of such real power had no 
other scope for his abilities than that offered by the cyclical miracle 
play. Even within these limits, however, he had room to display other 
gifts besides those of dramatic construction and humour. The three 
speeches of the Shepherds to the little Jesus are exquisite in their 
rustic tenderness, and even if we may not attribute to him the really 
terrific picture of corruption in the Lazarus, there is contrast enough 
between these and the denunciation of the usurers and extortioners 
in the Judicium. Without his aid, the Towneley cycle would have 
been interesting, but not more interesting than any of its three 
competitors. His additions entitle it to be ranked among the great 
works of our earlier literature. 

Alfred W. Pollard. 



The Secunda Pastorum of the Towneley Plays (p. 116 ft".) and 
Archie Armstrang's Aith. 


So far as I know, nobody has yet discovered that the leading 
incident in the Second Play of the Shepherds is repeated in quite 
another department of English Literature, viz. in Archie Armstrang's 
Aith, by the Rev. John Marriott, printed in ' Minstrelsy of the 
Scottish Border,' 5th ed. vol. iii. Edinb., 1821, p. 481 ff. Archie 
Armstrang was, as we learn from the Notes of this poem, p. 487 f., 
" a native of Eskdale, and contributed not a little towards the 
raising his clan to that pre-eminence which it long maintained 
amongst the Border thieves .... and there distinguished himself 
so much by zeal and assiduity in his professional duties, that at 
length he found it expedient to emigrate. . . . He afterwards 
became a celebrated jester in the English Court. . . . He was 
dismissed in disgrace in the year 1637. . . . The exploit detailed 
in this ballad has been preserved, with many others of the same 
kind, by tradition, and is at this time current in Eskdale." 

The story runs as follows : — 

Archie has stolen a sheep, and is pursued by the shepherds, but manages to 
reach his house, where, with the assistance of his wife, he skins the sheep, 
throws its entrails and hide into the river, and stuffs the body into a 
child's cradle. Then he sits down by it and sings a lullaby. At this very 
moment the pursuers enter the house and declare him to be the thief. But 
Archie protests, wants them to be quiet, because his child is dying, and 
swears an oath, that, if he has ever lessened the herds of his neighbour, he will 
eat the flesh that is now lying in the cradle. Besides, he gives them leave 
to ransack every corner of his house in order to find the sheep which they say 
he has stolen. So they search — naturally without result, — and the shepherds 
conclude that it was either the devil himself, that they saw running off with 
the sheep, or that they mistook the culprit, and that Maggie Brown is the real 
thief. As to Archie, when the shepherds are gone, he piques himself not a 
little on his ability in representing a nurse ; and, at the same time, says that 
nobody is entitled to call him a perjurer, for he really eats up the sheep in the 

xxxii Appendix. Archie Armstrang's Ailli. 

We see at once the striking point in the story, that the thief 
and his wife hide the stolen sheep from the suspicious shepherds in 
a cradle, is common to both versions. Besides, I ask my readers to 
compare the following single passages. 

When the thief returns to his house, his wife is afraid that he 
will be discovered and tied up ; he wants her to be quiet and to help 
him. Towneley, p. 126 — 

Uxor : By the nakyd nek art thou lyke for to hyng. 

Mak : Do way .... 

Uxor : , It were a fowtr blott to be hanged for the case. 

Male : I have skapyd, Jelott, oft as hard a glase. 

Uxor : Bot so long goys the pott to the water, men says 

At last 

Comys it home broken. 
Mak : Weti knowe I the token, 

Bot let it never be spoken, 

Bot com and help fast. 

I wold he were slayn, etc. 

corresponds to Archie Amnstrang's Aith, st. 6 fr". 

And oh ! when he st'-pp'd o'er the door, 
His wife she look'd aghast. 

"A, wherefore, Archie, wad ye slight 
Ilk word o' timely warning ? 
I trow ye will be ta'en the night, 
And hangit i' the morning." 

"Now hawd your tongue, ye prating wife, 
And help me as ye dow ; 
I wad be laith to lose my life 
For ae poor silly yowe. " 

In Town., p. 130, the thief's wife gives the following advice — 
Harken ay, when thay calle : thay will com anone. 
Com and make redy alle, and syng by thyn oone, 
Syng lullay thou shalle .... 
Syng lullay on fast, 
"When thou heris at the last. 

According to Archie Armstrong's Aith, st. 13 f., Archie performs 

this skilful service — 

And down sat Archie daintillie, 
And rock'd it wi' his hand ; 
Siccan a rough nourice as he 
Was not in a' the land. 
And saftlie lie began to croon, 
"Hush, hushabye, my dear." 
He hadna sang to sic a tunc, 
I trow, for mony a year. 

Appendix. Archie Armstrang's Aith. xxxiii 

For the rhyme croon : tune we may compare the following lines in 
the conversation of the shepherds in front of Mak's hut (p. 131) — 
Tertius Pastor : Witt ye here how thay hak ? Oure syre, lyst, croyne ! 
Primus Pastor : Hard I never none crak so clere out of toyne. 

In Towneley, p. 133, Uxor says — 

I pray to God so mylde, 
If ever I you begyld, 
That I ete this chylde, 
That lygys in this credyrh 

Likewise in Archie Armstranc/s Aith, st. 18, the husband — 
If e'er I did sae fause a feat, 
As thin my neebor's faulds, 
May I doom'd the flesh to eat 
This vera cradyl halds ! 

In both versions the shepherds, not having found anything, believe 
they have made a mistake ; Town., p. 134 — 

Primus Pastor : "We have merkyd amys : I hold us begyld. 
Archie Armstrang's Aith, st. 22 — 

Or aiblins Maggie's ta'en the yowe, 
And thus beguiled your e'e. 

The principal difference between the two versions of the same story 
is, that in the play the thief, in spite of this trick, is finally discovered 
and punished by lynch-law, whilst according to the ballad the thief 
and his wife succeed in their plot, and the suspicion falls upon another. 
It is in harmony with this difference that the seemingly not real- 
izable oath is only of a secondary interest in the play, while in the 
ballad it forms the centre of the whole. 

Now the only MS. of the Towneley Plays seems to have been 
written in the beginning of the fifteenth century, whilst Archie Arm- 
strang's Aith, belonging to the " Imitations of the ancient ballad," 
was scarcely composed long before 1802, in which year the -Minstrelsy' 
made its first appearance in the literary world. It is most unlikely 
that John Marriott, — who, according to Allibone's Dictionary, was 
Curate of Broad Clift, Devon, and Eector of Church Liford, War- 
wickshire, and in 1820 and 1836 published some collections of 
sermons, — borrowed this story from the then imprinted MS. of the 
Towneley Plays and transferred it, of his own authority, to Archie 
Armstrang, so that the whole of his notes were a forgery. 1 It is much 

1 It is perhaps worth noting that the Secunda Pastorum was printed in the 
Collection of English Miracle Plays published at Basel in 1838 by a Dr. William 
Marriott, who may possibly have been a relation of the Rev. John Marriott of 
Prof. Kblbing's ballad.— A. W. P. 


xxxiv Appendix. Archie Armstrang's Aith. 

more credible that this fanny tale was preserved by oral traditions, 
possibly in a metrical form. The tale was first bronght into the 
Christmas story by the author of the Towneley Play, and afterwards, 
in the seventeenth century, transferred to the famous thief and jester, 
Archie Armstrang. 

Whether the happy or unhappy end of the story is to be considered 
as the original one, is a question, which, in the want of other 
materials, we shall perhaps never be able to solve with any certainty. 1 

This little paper is englisht from the original in the Zeitschrift 
fur vergleicliende Litteraturgescliichte, herausgegeben von M. Koch. 
Neue Folge. Elfter Band, p. 137 fL— E. K. 

1 As "bang went saxpence" would have been the result of the Shepherds 
kissing the babe in the cradle, I suggest that Scotch shepherds, at any rate, would 
never have thought of incurring such an awful liability. — F. J. F. 


p. 70, Stage-directions to 1. 200, and sidenotes to st. 32 : — for Boys^ read 
Israelites, as pueri plainly means Children of Israel. 
p. 71, 1. 332 : — vnys = v[y]nys, vines, 
p. 77. 1. 397 : — now should be new. 
See also ' couandys ' and ' stenen ' in the Index. 



[267 lines, in stanzas and couplets. Stanzas 12 — 15 have 10 

[aabab aabab), 7 {aab ab ab), 5 and 5 (aabab) lines 

respectively, the rest 6 (aab ccb).] 




[Dramatis Personae. 

Angeli Mali 1 et 2. 1 
Angeli Boni 1 ei 2. 

Demones 1 et 2. 1 

In dei nomine amen. 
Assit Pnncipio, Sancta, Maria, Meo. Wakefeld. 

[Scene I. Heaven.] 


[Deus] (1) 


[Fol. 1, a.] 

| ^go sum alpha et 1 o, 

God declares 
His nature 

i^ I am the first 1 , the last 1 also, 

& might. 

1 A Oone god in mageste ; 


Meruelus, of myght 1 most, 

ffader', & son), & holy goost, 

On) god in tnnyte. 



I am without begynnyng*, 

My godhede hath none endyng*, 

I am god in trone ; 


Oone god in persons thre, 

Which may neuer twynnyd be, 

ffor 1 1 am) god alone. 



AH maner thyng 1 is in my thoght, 

Withoutten) me ther may be noght, 

Nothing may 

ifor* aH is in my sight ; 


exist with- 
out Him. 

hit 1 shall be done after 1 my will, 

that I haue thoght I shall fulfill 

And manteyn) with my myght 1 . 


1 These may be the same. 


2 Towneley Plays. L The Creation. 

God begins At the begynnyng 1 of oure dede 

creation. make we heuen) & erth, on brede, 

the parting " and lyghtys fayre to se, 21 

of darkness PP , ., . ,, . , 

& light. nor it is good' to be so ; 

darknes from) light we parte on two, 

In tyme to serue and be. 24 


Darknes we carl the nyghf, 

and lith also the bright 1 , 

If shall be as I say ; 27 

after 5 my wiH this is furth broghf , 
Euen) and morne both ar* thay wroghf , 

and thus is maid a day. 30L 


The 2nd day: In medys the water, bi oure assenf, 
ment divides be now maide the nrmamenf, 

And parte ather 1 from) othere, 33 

Water aboue, I-wis ; 
Euen) and morne maide is this 

A day, [so was] the tothere. 3§ 


The 3rd day : Waters, thaf so wyde ben) spred, 

the division , , , , , . , . , 

of earth & be gedered to geder in to one stede, 

thaf dry the erth may seym); 39 

thaf af is dry the erth shaH be, 
the waters also I call the see ; 

this warke to me is queme. 42 

(8) . 
The earth to Ouf of 1 the erth herbys shal spryng 1 , 
fruh? ° r Trees to llorish and frute furth bryng 1 , 

thare kynde that if be kyd. 45 

This is done after my wiH ; 
Even) & morn) maide is ther* tiH 

A day, this is the thryd*. [Ms. thyrd.] 48 


The 4th day: Son) & moyne set in the heuen), 

sun & moon. With starnes, & the pianettes seuen), 

To stand in thare degre ; 51 

Towneley Plays. I. The Creation. 

The son) to serue the day lyght 1 , 
The moyne also to serue the nyght? ; 

The fourte day shaH this be. 
The water to norish the fysfr swymand, 
The erth to norish best?/s crepeand, 

That 1 fly oi ) go may. 
Multiplye in erth, and be 
In my blyssyng 1 , wax now ye ; 

This is the fyftt day. 


Cherubyii). Oure lord god in trynyte, 

Myrth and lovyng 1 be to the, 

Myrth and lovyng 1 ouer al thyng 1 ; 

ffor* thou has'inade 1 , with thi bidyng 1 , 

Heuen), & erth, and aH that is, 

and giffen) vs Ioy that 1 neuer shall mys. 

Lord, thou) art fuH mych of 1 myght, 

that 1 has maide lucifer so bright ; 

we loue the, lord, bright 1 ai ) we, 

bot none of* vs so bright 1 as he : 

He may weH hight lucifere, 

fibr 1 lufly light that 1 he doth bere. 

He is so lufly and so bright 

It is grete ioy to se that 1 sight ; 

We lofe the, lord, with aH oure thoght 1 , 

that sich thyng 1 can) make of noght. 


The 5th day : 
the creation 
of fish & 
57 beasts that 
may fly or 
go." [Cp. 
11. 162, 163.] 






hie deus recedit a suo sollo fy lucifei sedebit in eodem solio. 




Lucifer. Cei%s, it 1 is a semely sight, 
Syn that 1 we ar* aH angels bright, 

and euer in blis to be ; 
If H that 1 ye wiH behold? me right, 

this mastre long^/s to me. 
I am so fare and bright, 
of me commys aH this light 1 , 

this gam) and aH this gle ; 

1 The words "has made" are in a later hand, the originals 
having been obliterated. 

[Fol. i, b.] 
praise God. 

He has made 
all of them 
bright, but 

prides him- 
self on his 
brightness <fc 

Towneley Plays. I. The Creation. 


Who shall be 
above him in 
heaven ? 

He is so 
seemly he 
■will take 
God's throne 
as King of 

[He seats 
himself &] 
asks the 
angels how 
he looks. 

The bad 
praise, and 
the good 
warn him. 



Agans my grete myght 1 

1 may [nojthyng 1 stand [ne] be. 
And ye weii me behold 
I am a thowsand fold 1 

brighter then) is the son) ; 
my strengths may not be told, 

my myght may no thyng 1 kon ; 
In heuen, therfor ) , wit I wold? 

Above me who shuld won). 
fEoi* I am lord of blis, 
ouer aU this warld, I-wis, 

My myrtfr is most of 1 aU ; 
thefrjfor' my will is this, 

master 1 ye shall me carl. 

And ye shall se, furl sone onone, 
How that me semys to sit 1 in trone 

as kyng 1 of blis ; 
I am) so semely, blode & bone, 

my sete shall be ther* as was his. 
Say, felows, how semys now me 
To sit in seyte of trynyte 1 
I am so bright 1 .of 1 ich a lym) 
I trow me seme as weH as hym). 
primus angelus mains. Thou> art 1 so fayre 

thou) semys weH to sytt on) night 1 ; 
So thynke me that thou doyse. 
jpnmvLS bonus angelus. I rede ye leyfe that 


fYor* that 1 seyte may non) angerl seme 
So weH as hym) that 1 aH shaH denie. 

JSecxmduLS bonus angelus. I reyde ye sese of that ye sayn), 
ffor 1 weH I wote ye carpe in vayne ; 115 

hit semyd hym) neuer, ne neuer shaH, 
So weH as hym) that has maide aH. 

1 MS. may thyng 1 stand then) be. 


vnto my 


Towneley Plays. I. The Creation. 5 

Secunchxs mahis anadus. Now, and bi oght that I can) witt, The bad 

angels think 

he semys futi wett theron) to sytt ; 119 him as fit to 

sit in God's 

He is so fayre, w^'t7i0utten) les, • seat as God 

« ' .,. , Himself. 

he semys fun well to sytfr on) des. 

therfor 1 , felow, hold thi peasse, 

and vmbithynke the what thou) saysse. 123 

he semys as weH to sytt there 

as god hymself 1 , if he were here. 

Z&ciferl leyf felow, thy nk the not 1 so 1 126 

primus malus angelus. Yee, god wote, so dos othere mo. [Foi. 2, a.] 
primus bonus [Angehis]. Nay, forsoth, so thynk not vs. 
lucifer\ Now, therof a leke what xokys vs % 

Syn) I my self am so bright Lucifer says 

therfor' wiH I take a flyght 1 . 1 131 a flight/ e 

Tunc exibunt demones clamando, & dicit primus, 

[Scene II. Hell] 
primus demon). Alas, alas, and wele-wo ! The devils 

lucifer*, whi feH thou SO % Lucifer. 

We, that were angels so fare, 

and sat so hie aboue the ayere, 135 

Now ar* we waxen) blak as any coyH, They are 

and vgly, tatyrd as a foyU. aTcoai^^ 

What 1 alyd the, lucifer, to fall % 

was thou) not farist of angels aH1 139 

Brightist 1 , and best, & most 1 of* luf 1 

With god hym) self, that syttys aboyf 1 1 

thou) has maide [neyn, 2 ] there was [ten, 3 ] He has made 

thou) art 1 fouH comyn from) thi kyn) ; 143 therVwen? 

thou) art* fallen), that 1 was the teynd, tenth part 

ffrom) an angeH to a feynd. oJ angeists 

thou) has vs doyn a vyle dispyte, uHab, 257]'. 

and broght 1 thi self 1 to sorow and sitfr. 1 47 

Alas, ther 1 is noght els to say 

bot 1 we ar> tynt 1 for" now and ay. 149 

Secundus demon. — Alas, the ioy that 1 we were In 

haue w r e lost 1 , for oure syn). 

1 A scribe has mistaken Lucifer's boastful flight for his fall. 
One or more stanzas containing either a speech of Deus (cp. Chester 
and Coventry Plays) or the exclamations of the devils as they fall 
(cp. York Plays) must have been omitted. 

2 MS. ix, 3 MSi x< 

Towneley Plays. I. The Creation. 

We may- 
curse our 
pride : " so 
may ye all 
that stand 

alas, that 1 euer cam pride in thoght 1 , 

fFor ) it has broght vs aH to nogfrt. 

We were in myrth and Ioy enoghe 

When lucifer to pn^'de drogh. 

Alas, we may warrie wikkyd pnde, 

so may ye all that 1 st&ndys be side ; 

We held? with hym) ther* he saide leasse, 

and therfor 1 haue we aH vnpeasse* 

Alas, alas, oure Ioye is tynfr, 

We mon) haue payne that* neuer shaH stynf . 




God pro- 
ceeds to 
make man. 

He gives 
him know- 

strength, the 
of the world, 
& paradise 
to dwell in. 

[Scene III. Earth.] 

Deus. — Erthly best?/s, that may crepe and go, 
bryng ye furth and wax ye mo, 

I se that 1 it 1 is good ; 164 

now make we man to oure liknes, 
that* shaH be keper of more & les, ^ 

of 1 fowles, and fysh in flood. Et y tanged eum. 167 

spreyte of* life I in the blaw, 

good and iH both shaH thou) knaw ; 

rise vp, and stand bi me. 170 

AH that 1 is in water or land, 
It 1 shaH bow vnto thi hand, 

and sufferan) shaH thou be ; 173 

I gif 1 the witt*, I gif the strenght, 
of 1 all thou sees, of brede & lengthe ; 

thou shaH be wonder wise. 176 

Myrth and Ioy to haue at wiH, 
AH thi likyng to fulfill, 

and dwell in paradise. 179 

This I make thi wonnyng playce, 
ffuH of 1 myrth and of solace, 

and I seasse the therin. 182 

It 1 is not 1 good to be alone, 
to walk here in this worthely wone, 

In aH this welthly wyri); . 185 

Tovmdey Plays. I. The Creadon. 



therfor', a rib I from the take, 

God makes 

therof 1 shaH be [maide] thi make, 

woman to 
be man's 

And be to thi helpyng 1 . 



Ye both to gouerne that 1 here is, 

and euer more to be in blis, 

ye wax in my blissyng 1 . 



ye shaH have Ioye & blis therin, 

whils ye wiH kepe you) out of syn), 

I say w£*t7*out[ten] lese. 


Ryse vp, myn) angell cherubyn), 

[Fol. 2, b.] 

And bids ai 

Take and leyd theym) both in, 

angel lead 
them to 

And leyf 1 them) there in peasse. 



Tunc capifi vherubyri) adam pev manum, fy dicitf eis. 

(23) _ 
Heris thou adam, and eue thi wife, 
I forbede you the tre of 1 life, 
And, I commaund, that 1 it 1 be gat 1 , 

Take which ye wiH, bot 1 negh not 1 that 1 . 201 

Adam, if 1 thou breke my rede, 
thou) shaH dye a dulfuH dede. 

Cherubyn). Oure lord, oure god, thi wiH: be done ; 
I shaft go with theym) fuH sone. 205 

ffor 1 soth, my lord, I shaH not sted 
tiU I haue theym) theder led. 
we thank the, lord, with fuH good chere, 
that 1 has maide man to be oure feere. [Exit Deus.] 209 
Com furth, adam, I shall the leyd ; 
take tent 1 to me, I shaH the reyd?. 
I rede the thynk how thou art 1 wroght, 
and luf my lord? in all thi thoght, 213 

That 1 has maide the thrugh his wiH, 
angels ordir ) to fulfiH. 
Many thyng?/s he has the giffen), 

and maide the master 1 of 1 all that 1 liffen) ; 217 

He has f orbed? the bot 1 a tre ; 
look that thou) let it be, 

God forbids 
Adam and 
Eve the 
tree of life. 

The Angel 



Towneley Plays. I. The Creation. 

Adam and 
Eve con- 
& thank 

Adam bids 
Eve keep 
away from 
the Tree of 

The tenth 
order of 
angels is 

ffor ) if 1 thou breke his commaundment, 

thou) skapys not 1 bot 1 thou be shent. 

Weynd here in to paradise, 

and luke now that 1 ye be wyse, 

And kepe you) weH, for 1 I must 1 go 

vnto my lord, ther* I cam) fro. [Exit Cherubyn).] 

Adam). Almyghty lord, I thank 1 it the 
that 1 is, and was, and shaH be, 
Of thi luf H and of 1 thi grace, 
ffor > now is here a mery place ; 
Eue, my f elow, how thynk the this 1 

JEua. A stede me thynk of 1 Ioye and blis, 
That 1 god has giflen) to the and me ; 
Withoutten) ende blissyd be he. 

Adam). Eue, felow, abide me thore, 
ffor > I wiH go to viset more, 
To se what trees that 1 here been) ; 
here ar* weH moo then) we have seen), 
Giesys, and othere small floures, 
that 1 smeH furl swete, of seyi J coloures. 

Eua. Gladly, sir, I wiH fuH fayne ; 
When) ye haue sene theym), com) agane. 

Adam). Bof luke weH, eue, my wife, 
that 1 thou) negh not the tree of 1 life ; 
fror 1 if 1 thou) do he bese iH paide ; 
then be we tynt 1 , as he has saide. 

Eua. Go furth and play the aH aboute, 
I shaH not 1 negh it 1 while thou) art 1 oute ; 
fcor 1 be thou sekyr 1 I were fuH loth 
fTor 1 any thyng that 1 he were wroth. [Exeunt Adam & 

[Scene IV. Hell] 
Lucifer ] . Who wend euer this tyme haue seyn) 1 
We, that in sich myrth haue beyii), 
That we shuld suffre so mych wo ? 
Who wold euer trow it 1 shuld be so % 
p Ten] orders in heuen were 
of 1 angels, that 1 had offyce sere ; 
Of ich order 5 , in thare degre, 
the [ 2 teynd] parte fell downe with me ; 

1 MS. X. 2 MS. x. 











Towneley Plays. II. The Killing of Abel. 

ffoi° thay held with me that 1 tyde, 
and mantenyd me in my pnde ; 
Bofr herkyns, felows, what I say — 
the Ioy that we haue lost for ay, 
God has maide man with his hend, 
to haue that 1 blis wMoutten end, 
The 1 neyn ordre to fulfil, 
that 1 after 1 vs left, sich is his will. 
And now ar 1 thay in paradise ; 
bot 1 thens thay shaH, if we be wise. 




The MS. has apparently lost 12 leaves here, containing (no 
doubt) the Temptation of Eve and the Expulsion of her and Adam 
from Paradise. 

God has 
made man 
to fill its 


Mactacio abel. Sec^da pagina. 

[473 lines in tliirteens (aaab ccccb bdbd, no. 1), twelves (aaab cccb 
bdbd, no. 3), elevens (aab cccb, no 2 — or aaab ccb, no. 7 — bdbd), 
nines, eights (aaab bcbc, no. 6, or cccb, no. 10 ; aaa bbb cc, 
no. 14), sevens (aaab ccb, no. 4 ; aab ab cc, no. 16), sixes, fives 
(aa bbb, no. 5), fours (ab ab, no. 13), threes and twos.] 

[Dramatis Personae. 
Cayn. Abel. 


Gar do. (1) 

AH hayH, all hayH, both blithe and glad, 

Glover Pag. 2 .. 

ffor* here com I, a mery lad ; 

be peasse youre dyn, my master 1 bad, 

Or* els the dwiH you spede. 4 

Wote ye not* I com before 1 
Bot who that 1 Ianglis any more 
He must 1 blaw my blab hoiH bore, 
both behynd* and before, 

Till his tethe blede. 9 

ffelows, here I you forbede 
To make nother nose ne cry ; 

Who so is so hardy to do that 1 dede 
The dwiH, 3 hang hym vp to dry. 13 

' JJS. ix. 2 In a ^ter hand. 

MS. dewill ; the "e" having been overlined by a later hand. 

[Fol. 3, a.] 

makes a 


Towneley Plays. II. The Killing of Abel. 

His master 
is a good 
yeoman : 

ill to quarrel 

Cain calls to 
his mare. 

Pull on a bit, 
you shrew. 

You're the 
worst mare 
I ever had 
in plough. 

He calls the 



Gedlyng^s, I am a fuHe grete wat, 
A good yoman my master' hat 1 , 

ffuH: weH ye aH hyni ken) ; 1 6 

Begyn lie with you for to stryfe, 
cerU's, then mon ye neuer thryfe ; 
Bot 1 I trow, bi god on life, 

Som of 1 you ai J his men. 20 

Bot 1 let 1 youre lippis coue?* youre ten, 
harlotU's, euerichon ! 

ffor if 1 my master 5 com, welcom) hym then). 
ffareweH, for* I am gone. [Exit Garcio.] 24 

[Enter Cain, ploughing.] 

Cayn\ Io furth, greyn-horne ! and war* oute, gryme ! 
Drawes on ! god gif you iH to tyme ! 
Ye stand as ye were fallen in swyme ; 

What 1 ! wiH ye no forther 1 , mare 1 28 

War ! let 1 me se how down) wiH draw ; 
Yit 1 , shrew, yit 1 , puH on a thraw ! 
What 1 ! it 1 semys for* me ye stand none aw ! 

I say, donnyng, go fare ! 32 

A, ha ! god gif the soro & care ! 
Io ! now hard she what I saide ; 
now yit 1 art thou the warst mare 

In plogh that 1 euer I haide. 


How ! pike-harnes, how ! com heder belife ! 
[Enter Garcio.] 
Garcio. I fend, gocU's forbot, that euer thou thrife 




Pol. 3, b.] 

Cayn. What 1 , boy, shal I both hold and drife % 

heris thou not how I cry 1 
Garcio. Say, mail and stott, wiH ye not 1 go ? 
Lemyng 1 , moreU, white-horne, Io ! 

now wiH ye not se how thay hy 1 

(5) " 

Cayn}. Gog gif the sorow, boy ; want 1 of mete it gars. 

Garcio. thare prouand, sir, for 1 thi, I lay behynd thare ars, 
And tyes them fast bi the nekis, 
With many stanys in thare helm. 

Cayn\ That* shall bi thi fals cheHs. 48 

Toivneley Plays. II. The Killing of Abel. 



Gar do. And haue agane as right. 

Cayn. I am thi master, wilt thou fight 1 

Garcio. Yai, with the same mesure and weght 
That 1 1 boro will I qwite. 

Cayn. We ! now, no thyng 1 , hot 1 call on tyte, 
that we had ployde this land. 

Garcio. harrer 1 , inoreH, iofurth, hyte ! 
and let the plogh stand. 

[Enter Abel.] 

AbeR. God, as he both may and can, 
Spede the, brother 1 , & thi man. 

Cayn. Com kis myne ars, me list not ban, 
As welcom standis ther* oute. 
Thou shuld haue bide til thou were cald ; 
Com nar 1 , & other 1 drife or 1 hald, 

and kys the dwillis toute. , 

Go grese thi shepe vnder 1 the toute, 
tlbr that 1 is the moste lefe. 

AbeQ.. broder*, ther* is none here aboute 
that 1 wold the any grefe ; 


bot 1 , leif 1 brothel, here my sawe — 

It 1 is the custom of 1 oure law, 
AR that 1 wyrk as the wise 
shall worship god witli sacrifice. 
Oure fader 1 vs bad, oure fader vs kend, 
that 1 oure tend shuld be brend. 
Com furth, brothere, and let vs gang 
To worship god ; we dwell fuH lang 1 ; 
Gif 1 we hym parte of oure fee, 
Come oi cataH, wheder if be. 

I (9) 

And therfor 1 , brother 1 , let vs weynd, 
And first 1 clens vs from the feynd 

or 1 we make sacrifice ; 
Then blis wiihoutten end 

get we for* oure seruyce, 

49 Cain offers 
to fight liim. 

The Boy is 
quite ready. 



57 Abel bids 
them God 

60 Cain tells 
him he isn't 



Abel exhorts 
him to come 
& make 
ings of his 

n -I tenths of 

• *■ corn & 




12 Towndey Plays. II. The Killing of Abel. 

Of hym that 1 is oure saulis leciie. 83 

Cain will CaynK How ! let" furth youre geyse, the fox wiH prectie ; 

sermoning. How long wilt thou me appech 

With thi seraionyng 1 1 86 

Hold thi tong 1 , yit I say, 
Eiien thei J the good wife strokid the hay ; 
Or* sit downe in the dwiH way, 

With thi vayn carpyng 1 . 90 


He won't Shuld I leif e my plogh & aH thyng 
plough! his And go with the to make offieryng 1 
o V nTy k liv?s° d Nay ! thou fyndys me not 1 so mad I 

him^sorrow Gq ^ ^ dw[ ^ and gay j bad , 94 

"What 1 gifys god the to rose hym so ? 

me gifys he nog-lit 1 hot 1 soro and wo. 96 

[Fol. 4, a.] ' (12) 

AbeE. Caym, leife this vayn carpyng, 
fror 1 god giffys the aft thi lifyng. 

Gayn\ Yit 1 boroed I neuer a farthyng 99 

Abel says of* hym, here my hend. 
have told AbeR. Brother', as elders haue vs kend, 

must title & ffirst shuld' we tend with oure hend J , 
offering? 111 " and to his lofyng 1 sithen be brend. 103 


Cayn\ My farthyng is in the preest hand 
syn last tyme I offyrd. 

AbeB.. leif brother*, let vs be walkand ; 
I wold oure tend were profyrd. 107 

Cain replies Cayn\ We ! wherof 1 shuld I tend, leif* brothere 1 
offeachyew. ff or) I am icfi y ere wars then cthere, 

here my trouth it 1 is none othere ; 110 

My wynnyngz's ar> bot meyri), 
No wonder if* that 1 1 be leyn ; 

flurl long tiH hym I may me meyri), 113 

ffor* bi hym that me dere boght, 
1 traw that 1 he wiH leyn me noght. 115 

Towneley Plays. II. The Killing of Abel. 



AbeR. Yis, aH the good thou has in wone 
Of 1 goch's grace is hot a lone. 

Cayn\ Lenys he me, as com thrift 1 apon the so 1 
frW he has euer yit 1 beyn my fo j 
ftW had he my freynd'- beyn, 
Other 1 gate's it 1 had beyn seyn). 
When aH mens corn was fayre in feld* 
Then was myne not 1 worth a neld 1 ; 
When I shuld saw, & wantyd seyde, 
And of corn had fuH grete neyde, 
Then gaf 1 he me none of 1 his, 
No mo;ee wilt I gif hym of 1 this, 
hardely hold me to blame 
bot 1 if 1 1 serue hym of the same. 

AbeR. Leif 1 brother 1 , say not 1 so, 
bot let vs furth togeder go ; 
Good brother, let vs weynd sone, 
no longer* here I rede we hone. 

Cayn\ Yei, yei, thou Iangyls waste ; 
the dwiH me spede if 1 1 haue hast, 
As long as I may lif 1 , 
to dele my good or 1 gif 1 
Ather to god or* yit 1 to man), 
of 1 any good that 1 euer I wan) ; 
ffor 5 had I giffen away my goode, 
then myght I go with a ryffen) hood, 
And it is better* hold that 1 1 haue 
then go from doore to doore & craue. 

AbeR. Brothei , com furth, in god^s name, 
I am f uH ferd' that 1 we get blame ; 
Hy Ave fast 1 that 1 we were thore. 

Cayn\ We ! ryn on), in the dwiHs nayme Before ! 
Wemay, man, I hold the mad ! 
wenys thou now that 1 1 list gad 
To gif 1 away my warldz's aght 1 1 
the dwiH hym spede that me so taght ! 
what 1 nede had I my traueH to lose, 
to were my shoyn & ryfe my hose % 
1 MS. an eld. 

119 God has 

always been 
his foe. 

His own 

D corn is the 
126 worst of 








He is in no 
haste to give. 

If he had 

given away 
his good he 
might go 
with a torn 

Better keep, 
than beg. 

[Fol. 4, b.] 
He thinks 
Abel mad. 


Towneley Plays. II. The Killing of Abel. 

Abel doesn't 
want to go 
without him. 

I see I must 
come then. 
Go on be- 

Let us go 

says Abel. 

You tithe 
first, says 

Abel burns 
his tithes. 

Cain begins 

AbeR. Dere brother 5 , hit were grete wonder 
that I & thou shuld go in sonder*, 155 

Then wold oure fader haue grete ferly ; 
Ar> we not blether 1 , thou & 1 1 

CaynK No, bot 1 cry on, cry, whyls the thynk good ; 
Here my trowth, I hold the woode ; 159 

Wheder that 1 he be blithe or' wroth 
to dele my good is me fuH lothe. 
I haue gone oft 1 on softer 1 wise 

ther 1 I trowed som prow wold rise. 163 

Bot 1 well I se go must 1 I nede ; 
now weynd before, iH myght 1 thou spede ! 
syn that 1 we shall algatzs go. 

AbeR. leif 1 brother 1 , whi sais thou so 1 167 

Bot 1 go we furth both togeder ; 
blissid* be god we haue fare weder. 

Cayn). lay downe thi trusseH apon this hiH. 

AbeR. fforsoth broder, so I wiH : 171 

Gog of* heuen, take it 1 to good?. 

CaynK Thou shall tend first if thou were wood. 

AbeR. God that 1 shope both erth and heuen), 
I pray to the thou here my steven), 175 

And take in thank, if thi wiH be, 
the tend that I off re here to the ; 
ffor* I gif 1 it 1 in good entent 1 

to the, my lord, that aH has sent. 179 

I bren it now, with stedfast thoght, 
In worship of 1 hym that 1 aH has wroght. 

CaynK Eyse ! let 1 me now, syn thou has done ; 
lord of 1 heuen, thou here my boyne ! 183 

And ouer, godis forbofl, be to the 
thank or* thew to kun me ; 
ffor*, as browke I thise two shankys, 

It is full sore, myne vnthankys, 187 

The teynd that 1 1 here gif 1 to the, 
of 1 corn, or* thyng, that 1 newys me ; 
Bot now begyn wiH I then, 

syn I must 1 nede my tend to bren). 191 

(Done shefe, oone, and this msikys two, 
bot 1 nawder of 1 thise may I forgo : 

Towneley Plays. II. The Killing of Abel. 


Two, two, now this is thre, 

yei, this also shaH leif 1 with me : 195 

ffor I wift chose and best 1 haue, 

this hold I thrift 1 of 1 aH this thrafe ; 

Wemo, wemo, foure, lo, here ! 

better groved' me no this yere. 199 

At 1 yere tyme I sew fayre corn, 

yit was it sich when it 1 was shorne, 

Thy sty Is & brerys, yei grete plente, 

And aH kyn wed^'s that myght be. 203 

ffoure shefYs, foure, lo, this maWs fyfe — 

deyH I fast 1 thus long or 5 I thrife — 

ffyfe and sex, now this is sevyn, 

bot 1 this gettis neuer god of 1 heuen ; 207 

Nor* none of 1 thise foure, at 1 my myght, |i 

shaH neuer com in god^'s sight 1 . 

Sevyn, sevyn, now this is aght 1 , 

AbelA. Cain, brother 5 , thou art 1 not 1 god betaghft. 211 

Cayn. "We ! therf or* is it 1 that 1 1 say, 
ffor I wiH not 1 deyle my good away : 
Bot 1 had I gyffen) hym this to teynd 

Then wold thou say he were my Ereynd ; 215 

Bot 1 I thynk not 1 , bi my hode, 
To departe so lightly fro my goode. 
we ! aght 1 , aght 1 , & neyn, & ten is this, 
we ! this may we best mys. 219 

Gif 1 hym that 1 that 1 lig^s thore 1 

It 1 goyse agans myn hart 1 full sore. 221 


AheR. Cam ! teynd right 1 of 1 aH bedeyn. 

Cayn. we ! lo twelve, fyfteyn, sexteyn x 
AbeR. Caym, thou tend^s wrang 1 , and of 1 the warst 1 . 

CaynK we ! com nar*, and hide myne een) ; 

In the wenyand wist 1 ye now at last, 226 

Or 1 els wiH thou that I wynk 1 
then shaH I doy no wrong, me thynk. 228 

1 ?,ft me se now how it 1 is — 

lo, yit 1 I hold me paide ; 
I teyndyd wonder well bi ges, 

And so euen I laide. 232 

1 MS. xij, xv, xvi. 

He chooses 
& keeps the 
best for 
all the time. 

Cain keeps 
on counting. 
[The repeti- 
tion, of the 
may mean 
that he 
counts 20 
sheaves as 
10, so as to 
pay a 20th 
instead of a 

[Pol. 5, a. 
Sig. C. 1.] 

We may best 
do without 
this one. 

Abel tells 
him he is 
wrongly & 
of the worst. 


Toivneley Plays. II. lite Killing of Abel. 

Devil speed 
me if he get 
a sheaf more. 

I had many 
a weary back 
in getting 

Never you 
mind how 
I'm tithing. 

Here are two 
sheaves, and 
that must 


Cease your 


AbeR. Came, of 1 god me thynke thou has no drede. 

Came. Now and he get more, the dwift me spede ! 
As mych as oone reepe, 

ffor* that earn hym fuH light chepe ; 236 

Not as mekiH, grete ne small, 
as he myght wipe his ars with aH. 
ffor 1 that 1 , and this that lyys here, 

haue cost me fuH dere ; 240 

Or* it was shorne, and broght in stak, 
had I many a wery bak ; 
Therfor 1 aske me no more of* this, 
ffor 1 I haue giffen that 1 my wiH is. 244 

AbeR. Cam, I rede thou tend right* 
£for ) drede of* hym that 1 sittis on higlitf. 

Cayn). How that 1 1 tend, rek the neuer a deiH, 
bot 1 tend thi skabbid shepe wele ; 248 

ffor ) if thou to my teynd tent 1 take, 
It 1 bese the wars for* thi sake. 
Thou wold I gaf 1 hym this shefe, or* this sheyfe; 
na, nawder of 1 thise [two x ] wil I leife ; 252 

Bot take this, now has he two, 
and for 5 my sauH now mot* if go, 
Bot 1 it gos sore agans my wiH, 
and shal he like fuH iH. 256 

AbeR. Cam, I reyde thou so teynd 
that 1 god of heuen be thi freynd. 

CaynK My freynd 1 na, not 1 bot 1 if 1 he wiH ! 
I did hym neuer yit 1 bot 1 skirl. 260 

If 1 he be neuer so my fo, 
I am avisidl gif 1 hym no mo ; 
Bot 1 chaunge thi conscience, as I do myn), 
yit 1 teynd thou not 1 thi mesel swyne? 264 

AbeR. If 1 thou teynd right thou mon) it fynde. 

Gayn. Yei, kys the dwiHs ars behynde ; 
The dwirl hang the bi the nek ! 

how that I teynd, neuer thou rek. 268 

WiH thou not 1 yit hold thi peasse] 
of 1 this Ianglyng I reyde thou seasse. 
And teynd I weH, or* tend I ill, 

bere the euen & speke bot 1 skiH. 272 

1 MS. ij. 

Tovmeley Plays. II. The Killing of Abel. 


[Fol. 6, a. 
Sig. C. 2.]i 


Bot now syn thou has teyndid thyne, 

Now wiH I set fyr° on myne. 

We ! out 1 ! haro ! help to blaw ! 

It 1 wiH: not 1 bren for* me, I traw ; 

Puf 1 ! this smoke dos me mych shame — 

now bren, in the dwiHys name ! 

A ! what 1 dwiH of heft is it ? 

Almost had myne breth beyn dif. 280 

had I blawen) oone blast more 

I had beyn choked right 1 thore ; 

IV stank like the dwiU in heH, 

that longer ther 3 myght I not dwell. ■ 284 

AbeH. Cam, this is not 1 worth, oone leke ; 
thy tend shuld bren w/t/ioutten) smeke. 

Caym\ Com kys the dwiH right 1 in the ars, 
for 1 the it 1 brens bot 1 the wars ; 288 

I wold that 1 it were in thi throte, 
ffyr*, & shefe, and ich a sprote. [God appears above.] 

Beits. Cam, whi art 1 thou so reberl 
Agans thi brother 1 abeH 1 292 

Thai thou nowthei' flyte ne chyde, 
if 1 thou tend right 1 thou gettis thi mede ; 
And be thou sekir*, if 1 thou teynd fals, 
thou bese alowed ther 1 after als. [Exit Deus ] 296 


Caym\ Whi, who is that 1 hob-ouer-the-waft 1 
we ! who was that 1 that 1 piped so smaH ? 
Com go we hens, for 1 perels aH ; 

God is out 1 of 1 hys wit 1 . 300 

Com furth, abeH, & let 1 vs weynd ; 
Me thynk that 1 god is not 1 my freynd, 

on land then wiH I flyt. 303 

AbeH. A, Cayra, brother*, that 1 is itt done. 
Cayn\ 'No, bot 1 go we hens sone ; 

1 The writer of MS. has by mistake continued his lines on Fol. 
6 a, instead of fol. 5 b, and has made a note in red ink on top 
of fol. 5 b. as follows ;— " [M]d? that 1 this syde of the leyfe [shjuld* 
folow the other next 1 syde [acjcordyng to the tokyns here maide, 
[an]d* then after al stondys in ordre." 


He sets fire 
to his offer- 

Cain's offer- 
ing won't 
burn, but 
chokes him 
with smoke. 

Abel says it 
is no good. 

Cain reviles 

God reproves 
Cain. As he 
tithes so 
shall he 

Cain scoffs 
at God. 
"Who is that 

Abel is 


Toivneley Plays. II. The Killing of Abel. 

He says he 
will go to his 

Cain stops 
him and 
says it is 
time to pay 
Abel what 
he owes him. 

Why did 
your tithe 
burn & not 

I will take 
your life for 
it with this 
cheek bone. 

Abel cries 
for venge- 

If any one 

thinks he 
did amiss, 
Cain will 
make things 

[Fol. 5, b.] 
But now 
that Abel is 
brought to 
sleep he 
would fain 
creep into a 
hole for 40 

And if 1 1 may, I shaft be 

ther* as god shall not 1 me see. 307 

AbeR. Dere brother*, I will fayre 
on feld ther 5 oure best/s ar*, 
To looke if 1 thay be holgh oi J fuH. 

Caym\ Na, na, abide, we hane a craw to puH ; 311 
Hark, speke with me or 1 thou go ; 
what ! wenys thou to skape so % 
we ! na ! I aght 1 the a fowH dispyte, 
and now is tyme that I hit qwite. 315 

Abel. Brother 1 , whi art 1 thou so to me in Ire 1 

Caym\ we ! theyf 1 , whi brend thi tend so shyre 1 
Ther* myne did bot 1 smoked 
right 1 as it wold vs both haue choked. 319 

Abel. Godis wiH I trow it 1 were 
that 1 myn brened so clere ; 
1 If 1 thyne smoked am I to wite 1 

CaymK we ! yei ! that shal thou sore abite ; 323 

with cheke bon, oi J that I blyn, 

shal I the & thi life twyn ; [Cain Jails Abel.] 

So lig down ther* and take thi rest, 
thus sharl shrewes be chastysed best. 

AbeVi. Veniance, veniance, lord, I cry ! 
for* I am slayn, & not 1 gilty. 

Gayn\ Yei, ly ther 1 old shrew, ly thei , ly ! 

And if 1 any of 1 you thynk I did amys 
I shal it 1 amend wars then it 1 is, 

that 1 aH men may it 1 se : 
weH wars then it 1 is 

right 1 so shall it 1 be. 

Bot 1 now, syn he is Broght on Slepe, 
Into Som) hole fayn wold I crepe ; 
ffor ferd I qwake and can no rede, 
for be I taken, I be bot dede ; 






1 Originally written "I am not to wite" ; "/" and "not" have 
been struck out with red ink, and "2" placed after "am." 

Towneley Plays. II. The Killing of Abel. 1 

here will I lig thise fourty dayes, 
And I shrew hym that me fyrst rayse. 

Deus. Caym, Caym ! [God appears above.] g^ ca]lsto 

Caym. who is that 1 that 1 callis me % 

I am yonder, may thou not 1 se 1 343 

Deus. Caym, where is thi brothel abeH 1 £Jt£r? thy 

Caym. what askis thou me 1 I trow at heH : 
At hell I trow he be— Cain 

answers he 

who so were ther* then my edit he se — 347 may be in 

d ° hell or 

Or ) somwhere fallen on slepyng ; asleep, 

when was he in my kepyng 1 1 

Deus. Caym, Caym, thou was wode ; 
The voyce of 1 thi brothem blode 351 

That 1 thou has slayn, on fals wise, 

from erth to heuen venyance cryse. jjjj curses 

And, for* thou has broght thi brother > downe, 
here I gif 1 the my malison. 355 

Cavm\ Yei, dele aboute the, for* I wiH none, Cain says 

u since he has 

or 1 take it the when I am gone. lost God's 

grace he will 

Syn I haue done so mekiH syn, hide himself. 

that 1 1 may not 1 thi mercy wyn, 359 

And thou thus dos me from thi grace, 

I shall hyde me fro thi face ; 

And where so any man may fynd me, . if any man 

V -. , o„ find him, let 

Let hym slo me hardely ; 363 Mm slay 

him : and 

And where so any man may me meyte, bury him 

Ayther bi sty, or* yit 1 bi strete ; boure at the 

And hardely, when I am dede, head?" 

bery me in gudeboure at the quareH hede, 367 

ifor 1 , may I pas this place in quarte, 
bi aH men set I not a fart. 

Deus. Nay, caym, it 1 bese not so ; God will not 

I wiH that 1 no man other* slo, 1 371 slain, 

fror* he that sloys yong or* old 
It shall be punyshid sevenfold*. [Exit Deus.] 

Caym). No force, I wote wheder I shall ; 
In heH I wote mon be my staH. 375 Cain knows 

T .L, • r j . that hell will 

It 1 is no boyte mercy to craue, be his place. 

fcW if I do I mon none haue ; 377 

1 Opposite this line a later hand has added in the margin, 
".& that shall do thy boddy der." 


Towneley Plays. II. The Killing of Abel. 

He wants to 
hide the 

If Pike- 
harnes were 
there they 
would bury 
it together. 

Cain calls 
harnes and 

to keep his 
hand in. 

[Fol. 6, b.] 
He tells him 
he has slain 

The boy 
cries out 
upon him. 

We shall 
come off ill 
if the bailies 
catch us. 

Cain pro- 
mises to cry 
his peace. 

Bot 1 this cors I wold were hid, 378 

ffor som man myght 1 com at vngayn, 
' ffle fals shrew,' wold he bid, 

And weyn I had my brother 5 slayn. 381 

Bot 1 were pike-harnes, my knafe, here, 
we shuld bery hym) both in fere. 
How, pyke-harnes, scape-thryft ! how, pike-harnes, how ! 

Garcio. Master 5 , master* ! 385 

GayrD. harstow, boy % ther 5 is a podyng 1 in the pot ; 
take the that, boy, tak the that ! 

Garcio. I shrew thi baH vnder thi hode, 
If 1 thou were my sj r re of flesh & blode ; 389 

AH the day to ryn and trott 1 , 

And euer amang thou strykeand, 
Thus am I comen bofett/s to fott. 

Cayn ] . Peas, man, I did it bot to vse my hand; 393 

Bot Harke, boy, I haue a counsel! to the to Say — - 
I slogh my brother 5 this same day ■ 
I pray the, good boy, and thou may, 
to ryn away with the bayn. 397 

Garcio. We ! out apon the, thefe ! 
has thou thi brother* slayn % 

Caym. Peasse, man, for 5 godis payn ! 400 

I saide it* for 5 a skaunce. 

Garcio. Yey, bot 1 for 5 ferde of grevance 
here I the forsake ; 

we mon haue a mekiH myschaunce 
and the bayles vs take. 405 


Caym). A, sir, I cry you mercy; seasse ! 
and I shall make you a releasse. 

Garcio. what 1 , wilt 1 thou cry my peasse 408 

thrughout 1 this land 1 

Cayn\ Yey, that 1 1 gif* god a vow, belife. 

Garcio. how wiH thou do long or 5 thou thrife 1 

Caym), Stand vp, my good boy, belife, 
and thaym peasse both man & [w]ife; 412 

Toivneley Plays. II The Killing of Abel. 


And who so will do after* me 
ffuft slape of thrift 1 then shal he be. 
Bot 1 thou must be my good boy, 
and cry oyes, oyes, oy ! 

Gareio. Browes, browes, to thi boy. 


CaymK I co?mnaund t you in the kyng/s nay me, 
Garc'w. And in my masteres, fals Cayme, 
CaymK That 1 no man at 1 thame fynd fawt ne blame. 
Gareio. Yey, cold rost is at my masteres hame. 421 

Caym\ Nowther' with hym nor* with his knafe, 
Gareio. What 1 , I hope my master rafe. 
CaymK nor* thay ar* trew, furl many fold? ; 
Gareio. My master suppys no coyle bot cold?. 425 

CaymK The kyng wry t is you vntiH. 
Gareio. Yit 1 ete I neuer half my fill. 427 

CaymK The kyng wiU that thay be safe, 
Gareio. Yey, a draght 1 of 1 drynke fayne wold I hayfe. 
Caym\ At 1 thare awne wiH let tham) wafe ; 
Gareio. My stomak is redy to receyfe. 431 

CaymK Loke no man say to theym, on nor* other* ; 
Gareio. This same is he that slo his brother*. 433 

CaymK Byd euery man thaym luf 1 and lowt 1 , 
Gareio. Yey, iH spon) weft* ay comes foule out.- 
CaymK 1 long or 1 thou get 1 thi hoyse and thou go thus 




Byd euery man theym pleasse to pay. 

Gareio. Yey, gif* don), thyne hors, a wisp of 1 hay. 
CaymK we ! com. downe in twenty dwitt way, 
The dwitt I the betake ; 
ffor* bot* it* were abeH, my brothere, 
yit knew I neuer thi make. 

1 This line should probably be Gareio 's. 



He bids him 
cry Oyez. 

Cain makes 
tion of 
pardon for 
himself & 
his boy. 
The boy 
mocks him 
in audible 

Cain curses 
the boy. 
He has never 
known his 
equal since 

[Fol. 7, a. 

Sig. C, 3.] 


Towncley Plays. II The Killing of Abel. 

The boy 
wishes the 
the blessing 
God gave 

Cain makes 
the hoy go 
to the 

If he angers 
him lie will 
hang him 
on it. 

His own 

place must 
he in hell. 


Gar do. Now old and yong 1 , or 1 that 1 ye weynd, 443 
The same blissyng withoutten end?, 

AH sam then shall ye haue, 445 

That 1 god of heuen my master has giffen) ; 
Browke it 1 weH, whils that ye liffen), 

he vowche it 1 furl weH safe. 448 

Caym). Com downe yit 1 in the dwilfr's way, 

And angre me no more ; 
And take yond plogh, I say, 

And weynd the furth fast* before ; 452 

And I shall, if H I may, 

Tech the another 1 lore ; 
I warn the lad, for 1 ay, 
ffro now furth, euermore, 

That 1 thou greue me noght ; 457 

fibr', hi Go&is sydis, if 1 thou do, 
I shall hang the apon this plo,_ 
with this rope, lo, lad, lo ! 

By hym that 1 me dere boght. 461 

Now fayre well, felows aH, 

ffor I must nedis weynd, 
And to the dwiH be thrall, 

warld? withoutten end?. 465 

Ordand ther' is my stall, 

with satharias the feynd, 
Euer iH myght 1 hym befall 

that theder me commend', 

This tyde. 470 

ffare weH les, & fare weH more, 
ffW now and euer more, 

I wiH go me to hyde. 473 

Explicit Madacio AbeR. 
Sequitur ] Noe. 

Towneley Plays. III. Noah and the Ark. 23 


Processus Noe cu?rc filiis. Wakefeld. [Fol 7> b>] 

[In 62 nine-line stanzas, aaaab ccb, ivith central rymes in aaaa, 
markt here by bars.] 

Vxor Noe. 

Noe. (1) 

[Dramatis Pcrsonae. 
Primus filius. 
Sccundus films. 
Tercius filius. 

Prima Mulier. 
Sccunda Mulier. 
Tcrcia Mulier. ] 

yo-htfuH sod veray / Maker of 1 ali that is, Noah praises 

J ° J ' God for His 

Thre pe?'sons withoutten nay / oone sod in work of 

1 J l a creation. 

endles blis, 


f| Thou maide "both nyght & day / beesfr, fowle, 
& fysh, 
AH creatures that lif 1 may / wroght thou at thi wish, 

As thou wel myght ; 5 

The son, the moyne, veranienfr, 
Thou maide; the firmament 1 , 
The stern es also fuH feruent, 

To shyne thou maide ful bright. 9 

Angels thou maide ful euen / ali orders that is, He recalls 

To haue the blis in heuen / this did thou more & les, of the'angeis 

ffutt mervelus to neuen / yifr was ther* vnkyndnes, 
More bi foldz's seuen / then I can weH expres ; 

ftVwhi? 14 

Of art angels in brightnes 
God gaf< lucifer 1 most lightnes, 
Yit prowdly he flyt his des, 

And set 1 hym euen) hym) by. 1 S 

He thoght* hymself 1 as worthi / as hyin that hym made, 
In brightnes, in bewty / therf oi J he hym degrade ; 
put hym in a low degre / soyn) after, in a brade, 
hym) and aH his menye / whei J he may be vnglacf 

ffor euer. 23 

shali thay neuer wyn away 
hence vnto domysday, 
Bot burne in bayle for* ay, 

shaH thay neuer clysseue?*. 27 

and the fall 
of Lucifer. 


Towneley Plays. III. Noah and the Ark. 

Noah recalls Soyne after that gracyous lord / to his liknes maide 

the creation 

of Adam & man), 28 

That place to be restord / euen as he began), 
Of 1 the trinite bi accord? / Adam & eue that woman), 
To multiplie w^out discord 4 / In paradise put 1 he thaym), 

And sithen to both 32 

Gaf* in co??zmaundement 1 , 
On the tre of* life to lay no hend ; 
Bot 1 yit 1 the fals feynd? 

Made hyni with man wroth, 36 

and their 

[Fol. 8, a. 
Sig. C, 4.] 

Air living 
people now 
sin boldly. 

So that he 
dreads God's 


Entysyd man to glotony / styrd him to syn in pride ; 

Bot in paradise securly / myght no syn abide, 

And therfof man fuH hastely / was put out, in that tyde, 

In wo & wandreth for 1 to be / In paynes furl vnrid? 

To knawe, 1 41 

ffyrst 1 in erth, in sythen in heH 
•with feynd is foi J to dwell, 
Bot* he his mercy meH 

To those that 1 wiH hym trawe. 45 


Oyle of 1 mercy he Hus hight / As I haue Hard red, 
To euery lifyng wight 1 / that wold luf* hym and dred? ; 
Bot 1 now before his sight 1 / euery liffyng leyde, 
Most party day and nyght / syn in word and dede 

ffuH bold ; 
Som in pride, Ire, and enuy, 
Som in Couet[yse] 2 & glotyny, 
Som in sloth and lechery, 

And other' wise many fold. 



Therfor 1 I drede lest god / on vs will take veniance, 
fTor > syn is now alod / -without any repentance ; 
Sex hundreth yeris & od / haue I, without distance, 
In erth, as any sod? / liffyd with grete grevance 
AH way ; 

1 MS. knowe. 2 MS. Oouetous. 


Towneley Plays. III. Noah and the Ark. 


And now I wax old, 
seke, sory, and cold?, 
As muk apon mold 
I widder away ; 




Bot* yit 1 wiH I cry / for* mercy and earl ; 
Noe thi seruantf, am I / lord oner arl ! 
Therf or* me and my fry / shal yvikh me farl ; 
saue from velany / and bryng to thi harl 

In heuen) ; 
And kepe me from syn, 
This warld within ; 
Comly kyng 1 of* mankyn, 

I pray the here my stevyn) ! [God appears above. 


Deus. Syn I haue maide ait thyng / that is liffand, 

Duke, emperpiir 1 , and kyng / with myne awne hand, 
ffor to haue thare likyng / bi see & bi sand, 
Euery man to my bydyng / shuld be bowand 

ffuH f eruent* ; 
That* maide man sich a creatoure, 
ffarest 1 of 1 favoure, 
Man must luf me paramoure, 

by reson, and repent. 

(10) . 
Me thoght I shewed man luf / when I made hym to be 
AH angels abuf / like to the trynyte ; 
And now in grete reprufe / furl low \igis he, 
In erth hy7?zself to stuf 1 / with syn that displeasse me 

Most 1 of 1 aH: ; 86 

Veniance wiH I take, 
In erth for syn sake, 
My grame thus wiH I wake, 

both of grete and smaH. 90 


I repente furl sore / that euer maide I man), 
Bi me he settis no store / and I am his soferan ; 
I wiH distroy therfor 1 / Both beest, man, and woman, 
AH shaH perish les and more / that bargan may thay 



Noah him- 
self is old. 

He calls to 
God for 

God solilo- 
quizes. He 
has made all 
men & they 
should love 
Him & 

But they lie 
sunk in sin, 
for which He 
will take 

He repents 
He ever 
made man. 

[Fol. 8, b.] 


Townelcy Plays. III. Noah and the Ark. 

The earth is 
full of sin. 

God will 
destroy it 
with floods, 

& make end 
of every 
thing living, 
save Noah 
& his wife. 

He will 
warn Noah 

God bids 
Noah build 
a ship 

300 cubits 
30 high, 
50 broad. 

That ill has done. 95 

In ertfr I se right 1 noghfr 
Bofr syn that is vnsoght ; 
Of* those that weH has wroght 

ffyndl bo^afone. 99 

Therfor 1 shall I fordo / AH this meditt-erd 
with floods that shall no / & ryn with hidous rercH ) 
I haue good cause therto / ffor 1 me no man is ferd, 
As I say shal I do / of veniance draw my swerd, 

And make end? 104 

of* all that beris life, 
Sayf 1 noe and his wife, 
ffoi° thay wold neuer stryfe 

With me [ne] me offend. [ms. then.} 108 

hym to mekiH wyn / hastly wiH I go, 
To noe my seraand, or 1 I blyn / to warn hym of his wo. 
In erth I se bot 1 syn / reynand to and fro, 
Emang 1 both more & myn / ichon other fo ; 

With aH thare entent ; 113 

AH shall I fordo 
with floodz's that shall floo, 
wirk shall I thaym wo, 

That wiH not repent. [God descends § comes to Noah.] 
Noe, my freend, I thee co??2maund / from cares the to 
keyle, 118 

A ship that thou ordand / of nayle and bord ful wele. 
Thou was alway weft wirkand / to me trew as stele, 
To my bydyng obediand / frendship shal thou fele 

Tomede; 122 

of lennthe thi ship be 
Thre hundreth cubettzs, warn I the, 
Of heght euen thrirte, 

of fyfty als in brede. 126 

Anoynfr thi ship with pik and tar* / without? & als withm, 
The water out to spar 1 / this is a noble gyn ; 
1 MS. bot. 

Towneley Plays. III. Noah and the Ark 27 

look no man the mar 5 / thre chese l chambres begyn, How the ark 

Thou must spend many a spar' / this wark or 5 thou wyn fitted. 

To end fully. 131 

Make in thi ship also, 
parloures oone or 1 two, 
And houses of offyce mo, 

ffor* heestis that ther must he. 135 

Oone cubite on hight / A wyndo shal thou make ; 
on the syde a doore with slyght 1 / be-neyth shal thou take ; 
With the shal no man fyghfr / nor' do the no kyn wrake. 
When aH is doyne thus right / thi wife, that 1 is thi make, Fol g a 

Take in to the ; 140 Noah is to 

Thi sonnes of good fame, wife, his 

T . ' ~ three sons & 

feem, lapnet 1 , and Uame, their wives, 

Take in also hame, 

Thare wife's also thre. 144 

ffor 5 ali shal be fordone / that lif« in land bot* ye, to escape the 

' •> ram that 

with floods that from abone / shal faH, & that 1 plente ; sha Ji last 

' J r ; 40 days. 

It shaH begyn fuH sone / to rayn vncessantle, 

After dayes seuen be done / and induyi 1 ' dayes fourty, 

w^outten fayrl. ' 149 

Take to thi ship also He is to take 

of ich kynd beestos two, two beasts 

of every 

MayH & femayH, bot no mo, kind, 

Or* thou purl vp thi sayrl. 153 

ffor 1 thay may the avayrl / when al this thyng is wroght 1 ; and to _ 
Stuf* thi ship with vitaylt, / ffor* hungre that ye perish well. 

noghfr ; 
Of 1 beestzs, fouH, and catayH / fTor' thaym haue thou in 

ffor thaym is my counsayH / that som socour' be soght, 

In hast; 158 

Thay must haue corn and hay, 
And oder 1 mete alway ; 
Do now as I the say, 

In the name of* the holy gast. 162 

1 MS. "chefe." Compare line 281. 


28 Towneley Plays. III. Noah and the Ark. 


Noah asks ]Sf e. A ! benedicite ! / what art 1 thou that thus 163 

who it is ' 

who speaks. Tellys afore that 1 shall be ? / thou art full mervelus ! 

TeH me, for* charite / thi name so gracius. 
God declares Dens. My name is of dignyte / and also furl glorius 

Himself. _ . J _ b J I 5 

To knawe. 1 167 

I am god most myghty, 
Oone god in trynyty, 
Made the and ich man to be ; 

To luf me weH thou awe. 171 

Noah thanks 
Him for 

Noe. I thank the, lord, so dere / that wold? vowch sayf 1 


appearing to Thus low to appere / to a symple knafe ; 
knave like Blis vs, lord, here / for charite I hit crafe, 
Legs ms The better may we stere / the ship that 1 we shall hafe. 
Wessing ' Certayn). 176 

Deus. Noe, to the and to thi fry 
My blyssyng graunt I ; 
Ye shall wax and multiply, 

And fiH the erth agane, 180 

When aH thise floods ar 1 past 1 / and fully gone away. 
Noah says Noe. lord, homward wiH I hast 1 / as fast as that I may ; 

Klwife. ^ [wife] wiH I frasf / what she wiH say, [Exit Deus.] 
And I am agast 1 / that we get som fray 

Betwixt vs both ; 185 

ffoi J she is furl tethee, 
ffor' litiH oft 1 angre, 
If any thyng 1 wrang be, 

Soyne is she wroth. Tunc jpQiget ad vxoremK 189 

[Foi. 9, b.] God spede, dere wife / how fayre ye 1 

Vxor\ Now, as cuer myght I thryfe / the wars 
She wants to I thee see; 

hehasteen Do terl me belife / where has thou thus long be \ 

doing. Tq dede may we dryfe I 0I , lifl for > th6j 

ffor' want 1 . 194 

1 MS. knowe. 

Toioneley Plays. III. Noah and the Arh 


When we swete or 5 swynk, 
thou dos what thou thynk, 
Yit of mete and of 1 drynk 
haue we veray skant. 



Noe. Wife, we ar 5 hard? sted / with tythyngw new. 
Vxor\ Bofrthou were worthi be cled / In Stafford blew ; 
flor 5 thou art alway adred / be it fals or 1 trew ; 
Bot god knowes I am led / and that 1 may I rew, . 

ffuH ifl ; 203 

ffor I dar 5 be thi borow, 
ffrom euen vnto morow, 
Thou spek*s euer of 1 sorow ; 

God send the'onys thi fill ! 207 

We women may wary / aH ill husbands ; 
I haue oone, bi mary ! / that lowsyd me of my bandz's ; 
If 4 he teyn I must tary / how so euer it standi, 
With seymland fuH sory, / wryngand both my hand/s 

fror 1 drede. 212 

Bot 1 yit other while, 
What with gam & -with gyle, 
I shall smyte and smyle, 

And qwite hym his mede. 216 

Noe. We ! hold* thi tong, ram-sky t / or I shaft the still. 
Vxor\ By my thryft, if 1 thou smyte / I shal turne the 

Noe. We shaft assay as tyte / haue at the, giH ! 
Apon the bone shal it byte. / 

Vxorl A, so_ mary ! thou smyh's iH ! 

Bot 1 1 suppose 221 

I shal not 1 in thi det 1 , 
fflyfrof 1 this flett! 
Take the ther 1 a langett 

To tye vp thi hose 1 225 

Noe. A ! wilt thou so 1 / mary, that 1 is myne. 
Vxor\ Thou shal thre for 5 two / I swere bi godte pyne. 

We sweat 
while you 

Noah has 
bad news. 

His wife says 
he should be 
" clad in 
blew," for 
he is always 

Women may 
curse all ill 
but she 
knows how 
to pay out 

Noah bids 
her hold her 
She dares 
him. He 
strikes her. 

She hits 

& promises 
three blows 
for two. 


Toivneley Plays. III. Noah and the Ark. 

Noah pro- 
mises to pay 
her back. 

There is no 
wife like her 
on eartlu 

She says she 
will go spin. 

Noah bids 
her pray for 

[Fol. 10, a.] 
Noah begins 
work on the 

first invok- 
ing the 

He gets the 
ark of the 

Noe. And I shaH qwyte the tho / In fayth or* syne. 228 
Vxor\ Out 1 apon the, ho ! / 

Noe. Thou can both byte and whyne, 

with a rerd? ; 230 

ffor all if 1 she stryke, 
yif fast 1 wiH she skryke, 
In fayth I hold? none slyke 

In aH mediH-erd? ; 234 

Bof I wiH kepe charyte /, ffor* I haue at do. 

VxorK Here shal no man tary the / I pray the go to ! 
ffuH well may we mys the / as euer haue I ro ; 
To spyn wiH I dres me. / 

Noe. We ! fare weH, lo ; 

Bot wife, ' 239 

Pray for me besele, 
To eft I com vnto the. 

Vxor . Euen as thou prays for 1 me, 
As euer myght 1 1 thrife. [Exit Yxorl] 243 

Noe. I tary f uH Lang / Fro my warke, I traw ; 
Now my gere wiH I fang / and thederward draw ; 
I may fuH iH gang / the soth for to knaw, 
Bot if god help amang / I may sit 1 downe daw 

To ken) j 248 

Now assay wiH I 
how I can of wrightry, 
In no?7ii?ie pafris, & filii, 

Et sptfoYits sancti. Amen. 252 

To begyn of this tree / my bonys wiH I bend, 
I traw from the trynyte / socoure wiH be send? ; 
It fayres fuH fay re, thynk me / this wark to my hend ; 
Now blissid be he / that this can amend 1 . 

lo, here the lenght, 257 

Thre hundreth cubettfo euenly, 
of 1 breed lo is it fyfty, 
The heght is euen thyrty 

Cubetfa's fuH stre?zght. 


Tovmeley Plays. III. Noah and the Arh. 

Now my gowne wiH I cast / and wyrk in my cote, 262 
Make wiH I the mast /'oi J I iiyt oone foote, 
A ! my bak, I traw, wiH brast ! / this is a sory note ! 
hit 1 is wonder that I last 1 / sich an old? dote 

AH dold, 266 

To begyn sich a wark ! 
My bonys ar" so stark, 
No wonder if 1 thay wark, 

fTor> I am fuH old?. 270 

The top and the sayrl / both wiH I make, 
The helme and the casteH / also wiH I take, 
To drife ich a nayH / wiH I not forsake, 
This gere may neuer fayH / that dar* I vndertake 

On one. 275 

This is a nobuH gyn, 
Thise nayles so thay ryn, 
Thoro more and myn, 

Thise bordi's ichon ; 279 

wyndow and doore / euen as he saide, 
Thre ches chambre / thay ar> weH maide, 
Pyk & tai J fuH sure / ther apon laide, 
This wiH euer endure / therof 1 am I paide ; 

fror why % 284 

It 1 is better wrognt 
Then I coude haif 1 thoght ; 
hyni that 1 maide all of 1 noght 

I thank oonly. 288 

Now wiH I hy me / and no thyng be leder*, 
'My wife and my^meneye / to bryng euen) heder. 
Tent hedir tydely / wife, and consider, 
hens must vs fie / AH sam togeder 1 

In hast. 293 

VxorK Whi, syr>, what alis you % 
Who is that asalis you % 
To fie it avalis you, 

And ye be agast 1 . 297 


Takes off his 
gown to 
work at the 
mast, but 
finds it hard 
work for his 
old bones. 

He makes 
top & sail, 
helm & 
castle, & 
drives in the 

He makes 
window & 
door, & 
three rooms. 

Then comes 
to his wife 
& bids her 

[Fol. 10, b.i 
She asks 
what ails 


Towneley Plays. III. Noah and the Ark. 

Noah tells 
his wife of 
the coming 


Noe. Ther is garn on the reyH / other*, my dame. 298 
Vxor\ TeH me that ich a deyH / els get ye blame. 
Noe. He that 1 cares may keiH / blissid be his name ! 
he has for oure seyH / to sheld vs fro shame, 

And sayd«, 302 

AH this warld aboute 
With floodz's so stoute, 
That shaH ryn on a route, 

ShaH be ouerlaide. 306 


All are to he he saide aH shall be slayn / bot oonely we, 

Oure barnes that 1 ar* bayn / and thare wifz's thre ; 
A ship he bad me ordayn / to safe vs & oure fee, 
Therfor 1 \xit7i aH oure mayn / thank we that fre 

Beytter of 1 bayH ; 
hy vs fast, go we thedir\ 

Vxor\ I wote neuer whedir ) , 
I dase and I dedir 

tfor 1 ferd of that tayH. 

their sons, 
and their 
son's wives. 

Slie is afraid 
at Ins tale. 


Noah hids 
wife & sons 
help get 
their goods. 
They all 


Noe. Be not aferd?, haue done / trus sam oure gere, 
That we be ther 1 or none / Without more dere. 
primus films* It shall be done fuH sone / brether*, help 

to bere. 
Secundus filius. ffuH long shaH I not hoyne / to do my 
Brether sam. 320 

Tercius filias. without any yelp, 
At my myght shaH I help. 

Vxor\ Yit for 5 drede of 1 a skelp 
help weH thi dam. 324 


The gear Noe. Now ar 1 we there / as we shuld be ; 

fSo\ht Sk. ^° g et in oure § ere / oure cataii and fe > 

In to this vesseH here / my chylde?* fre. 

VxorK I was neuer bard ere / As euer myght I the, 
In sich an oostre as this. 329 

Towneley Plays. Ill Noah and the Ark 33 

In fatli I can not fynd The wife 

t. • fc • i~ £ i_ • fc ' ' • i. v j complains of 

whicn is before, wnicn is behynd ; the ark. 

Bot shaft we here be pynd, tell fore from 

Noe, as haue thou blis ? 333 aft * 

Noe. Dame, as it is skiH / here must vs abide grace ; 
Therfor', wife, with good wiH / com into this place. 

VxorK Sir, for Iak nor for giH / wiH I turne my face She won't go 

TiH I haue on this hiH / spon a space has done 

on my rok ; \ 338 spinning. 

Weil were he, myght get me, 
Now wiH I downe set me, 
Yit reede I no man let me, 

ffor 1 drede of a knok. 342 

Noe. Behold to the heuen / the cateractes aH, Noah sees 

That are open fuH euen / grete and small, are threaten- 

And the pianette seuen / left has thare staH. 
Thise thoners and levyn / downe gai J faH 

ffuH stout, 347 

Both halles and bowers, [Pol. n, a.] 

Castels and towres ; 
££uH sharp ar 1 thise showers, 

that renys aboute : 351 

Therfor\ wife, haue done / com into ship fast. and bids her 

' * come in. 

Vxor. Yei, noe, go cloute thi shone / the better wiH 

thai last. 
prima mulierK Good moder, com in sone / ffoi? all is ouer Her sons' 

of wives 

cast, entreat her. 

Both the son and the mone. / 

Secunda mulied, and many wynd blast 1 

ffuH sharp; 356 

Thise floods so thay ryn, 
Therfor 1 moder come in. 

VxorK In f ay th yit wiH I spyn : She says she 

. y, . fJ ) will spin on# 

AH m vayn ye carp. 360 

Tercia Mulier\ If* ye like ye may spyn / Mode?*, in the "Why not 

Ship. ship?" 




Towneley Plays. III. Noah and the Arh. 

She will 
spin out her 
spindle on 
the hill 
where she is. 

her with the 

She defies 

& wishes she 
were a 
widow. She 
grudge a 
penny dole 
for his soul 
then, & sees 
other wives 
who think 
the same. 

Noe. Now is this twyys com in / dame, on my frenship. 
VxorK Wheder I lose oi J I wyn / In fayth, thi felow- 
set I not at a pyn / this spyndiH will I slip 

Apon this hill, 365 

Or* I styi° oone fote. 

Noe. Peter ! I traw we dote ; 
wit7*out any more note 

Come in if ye will. 369 


VxorK Yei, wate?* nyghys so nere / that I sit not 1 dry, 
Into ship with a byr 1 / therfoi J wiH I hy 
ftor 1 drede that I drone here. / • 

Noe. dame, securly, 

It bees boght fuH dere / ye abode so long by 

out 1 of ship. 374 

Vxor\ I wiH nof, for thi bydyng, 
go from doore to niydyng 1 . 

Noe. In fayth, and for' youre long taryyng 

Ye shal lik on the whyp. 378 

Vxor\ Spare me not, I pray the / bot euen as thou 
Thise grete worde's shall not na^ me. / 

Noe. Abide, dame, and drynk ? 

fixo? betyn shall thou be / with this staf to thou stynk ; 
Ai* strokes good 1 say me. / 

Vxor\ what say ye, wat wynk 1 

Noe. speke ! 383 

Cry me mercy, I say ! 
Vxor\ Therto say I nay. 
Noe. Bot thou do, bi this day, 

Thi hede shall I breke. 387 

Vxor\ Lord, I were at ese / and hertely fdfl hoylle, 
Might 1 1 onys haue a measse / of wedows coyH j 
fFor thi sauH, without lese / shuld I dele pemiy doyH, 
so wold mo, no frese / that I scon this sole 

of 1 wife's that ar* here, 392 

Towneley Plays. III. Noah and the Ark. 35 

ffor the life that thay leyd, Wives have 

Wold thare husbands were dede, life, 

ffor, as euer ete I brede, 

So wold I oure syre were. 396 

Noe. Yee men that has wife / whyls they ar* yong, Noah bids 

' ° * ■ ° husbands 

If* ye luf youre life / chastice thare tong : chastise 

17 d ' • their wives' 

Me thynk my hert ryfe / both levyr 1 and long, tongues 

To se sich stryfeV wedinen emong ; 

Bot I, 401 

As haue I blys, t FoL n > b -l 

He will set 
shall chastyse this. an example. 

Vxor\ Yit may ye mys, 
MchoH nedy ! 405 

Noe. I shall make be still as stone / begynnar 5 of He threaten 
blunder' ! 
I shall bete the bak and bone / and breke all in sonder 1 . 

[They fight] 
Vxor\ Out, alas, I am crone ! / oute apon the, mans She cries out 

' ' o / i > & beats him 

wonder ! back - 

Noe. Se how she can grone / and I lig vnder ; 

Bot, wife, 410 

In this hast let vs ho, 
ffor my bak is nere in two. 
Vxor\ And I am bet so bio 
That I may not thryfe. [They enter the Aj'Jc] 414 
Primus films. A ! whi fare ye thus % / ffader and moder ^ e p e r o a s ch ns 

both ! them - 

Secundusfilius.^Ye shuld not be so spitus / standyng 

in sich a woth. 
Tercius films. Thise ai J so hidus / with many a cold coth. 
Noe. we wiH do as ye bid vs / we wiH no more be 
Dere barnes S 419 

Now to the helrne wiH I hent, Noah takes 

And to my ship tent. 

VxorK I se on the firmament, 
Me thynk, the seven starnes. 423 


36 Towneley Plays. III. Noah and the Ark. 


The flood tfoe. This is a grete flood / wife, take hede. 424 

rises. ° ' ' 

YxorK So me thoght, as I stode / we ar> in grete 
- drede ; 
Thise wawghes ar 5 so wode. / 
Noah calls Noe. help, god, in this nede ! 

on God. . r & 

As thou art 1 stere-man good / and best, as I rede, 

Of aH ; 428 

Thon rewle vs in this rase, 
As thou me behete hase. 

Vxor\ This is a perlous case : 
help, sod, when we carl ! 432 

Noah bids Noe. Wife, tent the stere-tre / and I shaH asay 

the helm The depnes of the see / that we bere, if* I may. 
sounds. VxorK That shall I do ful wysely / now go thi way. 

ffor ) apon this flood haue we / flett many day, 

with pyne. 437 

Noe. Now the water wiH I sownd : 
A ! it is far to the grownd ; 
This traueH I expownd 

had I to tyne. 441 

The waters Aboue aH hilly s bedeyn / the water is rysen late 
above the Cubetk's fyfteyn, 1 I bot in a highter state 

hills, but jw J •> i o 

now they It may not be, I weyn / for this weli I wate, 

will abate, J ' J ' ' 

after the 40 This forty dayes has rayn beyn / It 1 wiH therfoi ) abate 
daJS ' raiI1 - Futtlele. 446 

This water in hast, 

eft wiH I tast ; 
He sounds Now am I agast, 


It is wanyd a grete dele. 450 

Now are the weders cest / and cateractes knyt, 
Both the most and the leest. / 
The wife sees Vxot j . Me thynk, bi my wit, 

shining in The son shynes in the eest / lo, is not yond if 1 

we shuld haue a good feest / were thise floods flyt 

So spytus. 455 

1 MS. xv. 

Towneley Plays. III. Noah and the Arh. 37 

Noe. we haue been here, aH we, They have 

now been 

thre hundreth 1 dayes and iyfty. 350 days in 

Vxor\ Yei, now wanys the see ; 
lord, weli is vs ! - 459 

(52) [Pol. 12, a.] 

Noe. The thryd tyme wiii I prufe / what depnes we sounding!! 

-1 j third time, & 

oere. touches 

VxorK Now long shall thou hufe / lay in thy lyne there. s round - 
Noe. I may towch with my lufe / the grownd evyn 

Vxor\ Then begynnys to grufe / to vs mery chere; 

Bot, husband, 464 

What grownd may this be 1 

Noe. The hyllys of armonye. the 6 Mis °? 

Vxor J . Now blissid be he Armenia. 

That thus for vs can ordand ! 468 

Noe, I see toppys of 1 hyllys he / many at a syght, 
No thyng to let me / the wedir* is so bright. 
Vxor\ Thise ar of* mercy / tokyns fuH right. 
Noe. Dame, thi counseH me / what fowlt best myght, -Noah asks 

a i /-. j*- ,» n hiswifewhat 

And CowtS, 473 bird will fly 

with flight Of Wyng soonest 

bryng, without taryying, a r toIen a of 

Of mercy som tokynyng 

Ayther* bi north or sou the 1 477 

ffor this is the fyrst day / of the tent moyne. 

VxorK The ravyn, durst I lay / wili com agane sone ; She suggests 

v « *_' , the raven. 

As fast as thou may / cast hym furth, haue done, 
He may happyn to day / com agane or* none 

With grath. 482 

Noe. I will cast out also . 
Dowfys oone or 1 two : He lets loose 

^ a dove or 

Go youre way, go, two also. 

God send? you som wathe ! 486 

Now ar* thise fowles none / Into seyr* countre ; 
Pray we fast ichoiV/ kneland on our kne, 
1 MS. ccc. 


Noah and 
his family 
pray to God 
that the 
birds may 
return with 
good news. 

He wonders 
why they 
tarry so 

He hopes 
most from 
the dove. 
The wife sees 
her coming 
with an 
in her bill. 

[Fol. 12, b.] 

Noah blesses 
the dove. 

Her return 
is a true 
token they 
shall be 

Toivneley Plays. III. Noah and the Ark. 

To hym that 1 is alone / worthiest of 1 degre, 489 

That he wold send anone / oure fowles som fee 

To glad vs. 491 

Vxor\ Thai may not fayH of land, 
The water is so wanand. 

Noe. Thank we god all weldand, 

That 1 lord that made vs. 495 


It 1 is a wonder thyng / me thynk sothle, 
Thai ar 1 so long taryyng / the fowles that we 
Cast 1 out in the mornyng. / 

Vxor\ Syr', it 1 may be 

Thai tary to thay bryng. / 

Noe. The ravyn is a hungrye 

AH way ; 500 

He is w^t/iout any reson, 
And he fynd any caryon, 
As pera venture may befon, 

he will not away ; 504 

The dowfe is more gentiH / her* trust I vntew, 
like vnto the turtiH / for' she is ay trew. 

Vxor\ hence bot a litiH / she commys, lew, lew ! 
she hvjngys in her biH / som novels new ; 

Behalf ! 509 

If is of* an olif tre 
A branch, thynkys me. 
Noe. If is soth, perde, 

righf so is if caldl. 513 

Doufe, byr<$ fuH blist / ffayre myghf the befall ! 
Thou art trew for 1 to trist / as ston in the wall ; 
FuH weH I it wist / thou wold com to thi haH, 
Vxorl A trew tokyn isf / we shaft be sauyd aH : 

ffoi^whi? 518 

The water, syn she com, 
Of depnes plom, 
Is fallen a fathom, 

And more hardely. 522 

Towneley Plays. III. Noah and the Ark. 


Primus films. Thise floods ar' gone / fader, behold'. 
Seeundus /ilius. Ther 1 is left right 1 none / and that be 

ye bold!. 
Tercius /ilius, As stirl as a stone / oure ship is stold. 
Noe. Apon land here anone / that we were, fayn I wold ; 
My childe?* dere, 527 

Sem, Japhet and Cam, 
with gle and with gam, 
Com go we arl sam, 

Noah's sons 
exclaim that 
the. floods 
are gone <fc 
the ark rests 

Noah bids 
them come 
all together 
out of the 

we wiH no longer abide here. 


VxorK here haue we beyn / noy long enogh, 
with tray and with teyn / and dreed mekiH wogh. 

Noe. behald* on this greyn / nowder cart 1 ne plogh 
Is left 1 , as I weyn / nowder tre then bogh, 

Ne other thyng 1 , 536 

Bot arl is away ; 
Many castels, I say, 
Grete townes of* aray, 

fflitt has this flowyrig 1 . 540 

There is 
neither cart 
nor plough, 
tree nor 
bough, to be 
seen on the 
land. Castles 
& towns are 
all swept 

Vxor\ Thise flood/s not 1 afright / arl this warld? so wide 
has mevid with myght / on se and bi side. 

Noe. To dede ar 1 thai dyghtt / prowdist of pryde, 
Euer-icrl a wyght / that eue?' was spyde, 

With syn), v 545 

AH ar* thai slayn, 
And put vnto payn. 

Vxor\ ffrom thens agayn 
May thai neuer wyn 1 549 

The proudest 
of pride are 
slain and in 


Noe. 7 wyn ? no, I- wis / bof he that myght hase 
Wold myn of thare mys / & admytte thaym to grace ; 
As he in bayH is blis / I pray hym in this space. 
In heven hye with his / to purvaye vs a place, 

That we, 554 

never to 
thence, save 
God admit 
them to 


Towneley Plays. IV. Abraham. 

May God 
bring Noah 
& his family 
to heaven 
■with His 
saints ! 

with his santz's in sight, 
And his angels bright 1 , 
May com to his light : 
Amen, for charite. 


Explicit processus Noe, sequitur Abraham. 

[Fol. 13, a. 
Sig. D. 1.] 

prays to God 
for mercy. 

He muses 
on the fate 
of his fore- 
since first 
Adam ate 
the apple in 

Adam lived 
long in 

Sequitur Abraham. 

[Incomplete. 35| eight-line stanzas, ab ab ab ab.] 
[Dramatis Personae. 

Abraham. I Deus. I Secundus Puer.] 

Primus Puer. \ Isaac. \ 

Abraham. (1) 

Adonay, thou god veray, 
Thou here vs when we to the carl, 
As thou art he that best 1 may, 
Thou art most socoure and help of arl ; 4 

MightfuH lord ! to the I pray, 
Let 1 onys the oyle of 1 mercy faH, 
Shall I neuer abide that day, 
Truly yit I hope I shall. 8 

Mercy, lord omnipotent ! 

long syn he this warld has wroght ; 
Wheder af all oure elders went ? 

This musys mekiH in my thoght. 1 2 

ftrora adam, vnto eue assent 1 , 

Ete of 1 that 1 appyH sparid he noght, 
ffor aH the wisdom that he ment 1 

ffuH dere that 1 bargan has he boght 1 , 16 

ffrom) paradise thai bad hym gang 1 ; 

He went 1 mowrnyng with symple chere, 
And after liffcyd he here fuH lang, 

More then thre hundreth x yere, 20 

1 MS. ccc. 

Towneley Plays. IV. Abraham. 41 

In sorow and in traueH Strang, 

And euery day he was in were ; 
his childre angred hym amang ; 

Caym slo abeH, was hym furl dere. 24 


Sithen Koe, that was trew and good, 

his 1 and his chyldre thre, 
was saued when aH was flood : 

That 1 was a wonder thyng to se. 28 

And loth fro sodome when he yode, 2 

Thre cytees brent, yit eschapyd? he ; 
Thus, for thai menged my lordz's mode, 

he vengid svn thrugh his pauste. 32 


when I thynk of oure elders aH, 

And of the mervels that has been), 
Ko gladnes in my hart may faH, 

M[y] comfort goys away fuH cleyn. 36 

lord, when shall dede make me his thrall 1 

An hundreth 3 yeris, cerU's, haue I seyn) ; 
Ma fa ! sone I hope he shall, 

ifoi* it were right hie tyme I weyn). 40 


Yif adam is to herl gone, 

And ther* has ligen many a day, 
And 4 aH oure elders, euery chon, 

Thay ar gone the same way, 44 

Ynto god wiH here thare mone ; 

Now help, lord, adonay ! 
ffor*, certzs, I can no better wone, 

And ther* is none that better may. 48 

(7) [God appears above.] 

Deus. I wiH help adam and his kynde, 
Might 1 luf 1 and lewte fynd ; v 

Wold thay to me be trew, and blyn 

Of 1 thare pride and of* thare syn : 52 

My seruand I wiH found & frast, 
Abraham, if 1 he be trast ; 

Cain slew 
Adam's dear 
son Abel. 

Noah was 
saved from 
the Flood 

and Lot 
from Sodom. 

himself is 
sad at heart. 

[Fol. 13, b.] 

He is an 
years old. 
When will 
death take 

His fore- 
fathers lie in 
hell till God 
release them. 

He can do 

no better. 

God desires 
to help 
Adam and 
his kind. 
He will 

1 Query 
3 MS. c. 


2 MS. yede. 
4 MS. And and. 


Towneley Plays. IV. Abraham. 

God calls 
to Abraham. 

He has heard 
Ws prayers, 
& now bids 
him take his 
son Isaac to 
' the land of 
Visyon' & 
there sacri- 
fice him. 

cheerfully ' 

He must 
obey God 
whatever it 
costs him, 
even if he be 
bidden to 
slay wife and 

On certan wise I wiH hym prone, 

If H he to me be trew of 1 louf\ 56 


Abraham ! Abraham ! 57 

A braMm. "Who is that 1 war* ! let me se ! 
I herd oone neven my name. 

Deus. It 1 is I, take tent to me, 60 

That fonrmed thi fader adam, 

And euery thyng in if degre. 

Abraham. To here thi wiH, redy I am, 

And to fulfill, what euer iV be. 64 


Deus. Of* mercy haue I herd thi cry, 

Thi devoute prayers haue me bun) \ 
Yb thou me luf 1 , look J>at thou hy 

Ynto the land of Visyon ; 68 

And the thryd day be thei J , bid? I, 

And take vritih the, Isaac, thi son, 
As a beest to sacryfy, 

To slo hym look thou not shon, 72 

And bren hym trier* to thyn offerand. 

Abraham. A, lovyd be thou, lord in throne ! 
hold oner me, lord, thy holy hand, 

ffor 1 cerU's thi bidyng shall be done. 76 

Blissyd be that lord in euery land - 

wold viset his seruand thus so soyn). 
ffayn wold I this thyng ordand, 

ffor it profettz's noghtt to hoyne ; [Exit Deus.] 80 


This co??zmaundement 1 must 1 1 ned^s fulfill, 

If 4 that my hert wax hevy as leyde ; 
Shuld I offend my lordz's wiH ? 

Nay, yit were I leyffer' my child were dede. 84 

What 1 so he bidd^s me, good or* iH, 

That 4 shaH be done in euery steede ; 
Both wife and child?, if 1 he bid spiH ; 

I wille not do agans his rede. 88 

Towneley Plays. IV. Abraham. 



wist Isaac, wher 5 so lie were, 

he wold be abast now, 
how that he is in dangere. 

Isaac, son, wher art* thou? 92 

Isaac. AH redy, fader, Lo me here ; 

Now was I commyng vnto you ; 
I luf* you mekiH, fader dere. 

Abraham. And dos thou so 1 I wold wit how 96 

\vlis thou me, son, as thou has saide. 

Isaac. Yei, fader*, with all myn hart, 
More then aH that 1 euer was maide ; 

God hold me long youre life in quart ! 100 

Abraham. Now, who would not be glad that had 

A child so luf and as thou art 1 1 
Thi lufly chere makis my hert glad, 

And many a tyme so has it gart. 104 

Go home, son ; com sone agane, 
And teH thi moder I com f ul fast ; 

[hie tmnssiet Jsaac a patre, 
So now god the saif and sayne ! 

Now weH is me that he is past ! 108 

Alone, right here in this playn, 

Might I speke to myn hart brast, 
I wold? that 1 aH were weH ful fayn, 

calls Isaac. 

[Fol. 14, a. 
Sig. D. 2.] 

Isaac comes 
to him. ' I 
love you 
much, dear 

rejoices in 
his son's 

and bids him 
tell his 
mother he is 

Now he is 
alone he 
could speak 
till his heart 

Bof it* must 1 ne&is be done at last* 


And it 1 is good that I be war*, 

To be avised full good it were. 1 
The land of 4 vision ^s ful far 5 , 

The thrid day end must I be there ; 1 
Myn ase shaH with vs, if 1 it thar 1 , 

To bere oure harnes les & more, 
ffor* my son may be slayn no nar* ; 

A swerd must 1 with vs yit therf ore, 

But he must 
prepare for 
Ms three 



1 The rhyme needs ' wore, thore. 

44 Toivneley Plays. IV. Abraham. 

Abraham (16) 

will start 

this night, And 1 shall found? to make me yare ; 121 

win must be This nyght wiH I begyn my way, 
Jpof 1 Isaac be neuer so fayre, 

And myn awn son, the soth to say, 124 

And? thof 1 he be myn right haire, 

And all shuld weld after my day, 
Godds bydyng 1 shall I not spare ; 

shuld I that ganstand 1 ? we, nay, ma fay! 128 


He calls Isaac ! 

Isaac, & tells Twar sir » 

him to pre- J-bOOO. fall . 

Sumeyfo Abraham. — luke thou be bowne; 

farcou?t^ a ffor> certan > son > tni self * and *» 

He is to take we frwo must 1 now weynd furth of 1 towne, 

wood & fire. J ' 

In far? country to sacrifie, 132 

ffor certan skyllys and encheson. 

Take wod and f yere with the, in hy ; 
Isaac shall Bi hillys and! dayllys, both vp & downe, 
wm walk. son, thou shal ride and I wiH go bi. - 136 

looke thou mys noght Jxxt tliou shuld? nede ; 
Do make the redy, my darlyng ! 
Isaac is Isaac. I am redy to do this dede, 

ready at his - 

word. And euer to fulfill youre bydyng. 140 

Abraham. My dere son, look thou haue no drede, 
We shal com home with grete loyyng ; 

Both to & fro I shal vs lede ; 
Com now, son, in my blyssyng. 144 


[They come Ye two here with this asse abide, [To the Servants. 

of sacrifice!] ffor* Isaac & I wiH to yond hill ; 
^ihfthe 1 1^ is so hie we may not 1 ride, 

sS^behild. therfor 5 ye two shal abide here still. 148 

primus puerK sir, ye ow not to be denyed : 

we ar redy youre bydyng to fulfill. 
secxmdus puer\ What 1 so eue?" to vs betide 

To do youre bidyng ay we wiH. 152 

Towneley Plays. IV. Abraham. 



Abraham. Gock's blyssyng 1 haue ye both in fere ; 
I shaH not tary long you fro. 

primus puerK Sir*, we shal abide yon here, 
Oute of this stede shaH we not 1 go. 

Abraham. Childre, ye ar 1 ay to me furl dere, 
I pray god kepe [you] euer fro wo. 

Secxmdus puer\ we wiH do, sir, as ye vs lere. 

Abraham. Isaac, now ar* we bot 1 we two, 
we must go a fuH good paase, 

ffor it 1 is farther than I wend* ; 
we shaH make myrtri & grete solace, 

Bi this thyng be broght to end. 
lo, my son, here is the place. 

Isaac, wod and fyere ar* in my hend ; 
TeH me now, if 4 ye haue space, 

where is the beest 1 that 1 shuld be brend % 
Abraham. Now, son, I may no longer layn, 

sich wiH is into myne hart went ; 
Thou was euer to me f uH bayn 

Euer to fulfill myn entenf. 
Bot 1 certanly thou 1 be slayn, 

And it 1 may be as I haue ment. 
Isaac. I am hevy and nothyng fayn, 

Thus hastely that shaH be shent. 
Abraham. Isaac ! 

Isaac. sir 1 


them. He 
will soon be 
[Fol. 14, b.] 




He and 
Isaac come 
to the place. 

Isaac asks 
where is the 
beast they 
are to burn. 

tells him he 
is to be 



Com heder, bid I ; 

Thou shal be dede what so euer betide. 
Isaac. A, fader, mercy ! mercy ! 

Abraham. That 1 1 say may not 1 be denyde ; 
Take thi dede therfor* mekely. 

Isaac. A, good sir, abide ; 
ffader / 
Abraham. What son? 

Isaac. to do youre wiH I am redy, 

where so euer ye go or' ride, 


Isaac is 
heavy at 
heart and 
•j y n unwilling. 

bids him 
take his 

meekly & he 




Towneley Plays. IV. Abraham. 

Isaac says 
since he has 
he would be 

But what 
has he done ? 

"Truly, no 
ill," Abra- 
ham an- 
swers, yet 
that may not 
help him. 

His ques- 
tions wring 
heart, but 
he bids him 
lie still. 

[Fol. 15, a. 

Sig. D. 3.] 
Isaac quakes 
at the sight 
of the sword. 
He is placed 
on his face 
that he may 
not see it. 

If 1 1 may oght 1 ouertake youre will, 185 

syn I haue trepa[s]fr I wold be bet. 

Abraham. Isaac ! 

Isaac. What, sirl 

Abraham. good son, be still. 

Isaac, ffader! 

Abraham. what, son! 

Isaac. think on thi get ! 188 

what haue I done 1 

Abraham. truly, none iH. 

Isaac. And shall be slayn 1 

Abraham. so haue I het. 

Isaac, sir, what may help % 

Abraham. cerU's, no skiH. 

Isaac. I ask mercy. 

Abraham. that may not let. 192 


Isaac, when I am dede, and closed in clay, 

who shall then be youre son 1 

Abraham. A, lord, that I shuld abide this day ! 

Isaac, sir, who shall do that I was won 1 196 

4-braham. speke no sich word^, son, I the pray. 

Isaac, shall ye me slo % 

Abraham. I trow I mon) ; 

lyg still ! I smyte ! 

Isaac. sir, let 1 me say. 

Abraham. IS"ow, my dere child, thou may not shon). 200 

Isaac. The shynyng of youre bright 1 blayde 
If gars me quake for ferde to dee. 

Abraham. Therfor* grorlyng^s thou shall be layde, 
Then when I stryke thou shal not se. 204 

Isaac. What 1 haue I done, fader, what haue I saide 1 

Abraam. Truly, no kyns iH to me. 

Isaac. And thus gyltles shall be arayde. 

Abraham. Now, good son, let sich wordz's be. 

Isaac. I luf 1 you ay. 
Abraham. so do I the. 


Towneley Plays. IV. Abraham. 


Is&ac. ffader ! 

Abraham. what 1 , son 1 

Isaac. let now be seyn). 

ffor > my moder luf. 

Abraham. let be, let be ! 

It 1 wiH not help that thou wold 4 meyn ; 
Bot 1 ly styH tiH I com to the, 

I mys a lytyH thyng, I weyn. 
he spelu's so rufully to me 

That 1 water shoiis in both myn eeyn, 

Isaac im- 
plores Abra- 
ham by his 

212 Abraham 

turns aside, 
blinded by 


I were leuer than aH wardly wyn, 

That I had fon hym onys vnkynde, 
Bot 1 no defawfr I faund hym in : 

I wold be dede for 1 hym, or* pynde ; 
To slo hym thus, I thynk grete syn, 

So rufuH wordz's I with hym fynd ; 
I am fuH wo that we shuld twyn, 

ffor he wiH neuer oute of 1 my mynd. 



If only he 
had found 
Isaac once 
unkind ! 



What shal I to his moder say ? 

ffor " where is he," tyte wiH she spyr ; 
If 1 1 teH hir>, " ron away," 

hii J answere bese belife — " nay, sir 1 ! " 
And I am ferd? hir 1 for to slay ; 

I ne wote what I shal say tiH hir\ 
he lyys fuH still ther* as he lay, 

ffor to I com, dar* he not 1 styr. 

i \ 

(30) [God appears above.] 

Deus. Angeit, hy with aH thi mayn ! 

To abraham thou shaH be sent ; 
say, Isaac shaH not 1 be slayn ; 

he shaH lif 1 , and not 1 be brent. 236 

My bydyng standi he not agane, 

Go, put 1 hym out of 1 his intent 1 ; 
Byd? hym go home agane, 

I know weH how he ment. 240 

What shall 
he say to his 
mother? She 
will not 
believe Isaac 
has run 

God bids an 
angel tell 
Abraham to 
spare his 


Towneley Plays. IV. Abraham. 

[Fol. 15, b.] 

The Angel 
rejoices in 
his errand. 

says to him- 
self he must 
run up sud- 
denly & slay 
Isaac where 
he lies. 

The Angel 
bids him 
hold his 

which is 
God's final 

The Angel 
assures him, 
& he thanks 
God for His 






Angelus. Gladly, Lord, I am redy : 

thi bidyng shaH be magnyfyed ; 
I shaH me spede ful hastely, 

the to obeye at euery tyde ; 
Thi wiH, Thi name, to glorifye, 

Oner aH this warld so wide ; 
And to thi seruand now in hy, 

good, trew, abraham, wiH I glyde. 

Abraham. Bot myght I yit of 1 wepyng sese, 

till I had done this sacrifice ; 
It must 1 nedi's be, withoutten lesse, 

thof 1 aH I carpe on this kyn wise, 
The more my sorow it 1 wiH incres ; 

when I look to hym, I gryse ; 
I wiH ryn on a res, 

And slo hym here, right as he lyse. 

Angelus. Abraham ! Abraham ! [Seizes him."] 

Abraham. Who is ther* now 1 

War 1 ! let the 1 go. 

Angelus. stand vp, now, stand ; 
Thi good wiH com I to alow, 

Therfor I byd the hold' thi hand. 260 

Abraham, say, who bad* so ^ any bot 1 thou 1 

Angelus. Yei, god ; & sendw this beest to thyn offerand*. 

Abraham. I speke with god latter, I trow, 

And doyng he me commaund. 264 


Angelus. He has pe?*sauyd thy mekenes 

And thi good wiH also, Iwis ; 
he wiH thou do thi son no distres, 

ffor 1 he has graunt to the his blys. 268 

Abraham. Bot wote thou weH that it is 

As thou has sayd ? 

Angelus. I say the yis. 

Abraham. I thank the, lord?, weH of 1 goodnes, 

That 1 aH thus has relest 1 me this ; 272 

1 Query "me." 

Towncley Plays. V. Isaac. 

To speke wzt/z, the haue I no space, 

with my dere son till I haue spokyn. 
Mj good son, thou shal haue grace, 

On the now wiU I not 1 be wrokyn ; 276 

Eyse vp now, with thi frely face. 

Isaac, sir 1 , shaH I lif 1 

Abraham. . yei, this to tokyn. 

Efi osculatm eum. 

son thou has skapid a fuH hard grace, 

Thou shuld haue beyn both brent & brokyn. 280 

Isaac. Bot, fader, shaH I not 1 be slayn ? 
Abraham. No, certos, son. 
Isaac. then am I glad ; 

Good sir, put 1 vp youre sword agayn. 

Abraham. Nay hardely, son, be thou not adrad. 284 
Isaac. Is aH for geyn 1 
Abraham. yei, son, certan. 

Isaac, fror 1 ferd, sir, was I nere-hand mad. 286 

[Two leaves of the MS." are wanting here, sigs. d 4 and d 5. They 
contained the end of Abraham and the beginning, almost all, of 


tells Isaac 
he is not to 
be killed. 
Bids him 

and kisses 

Isaac bids 
him put up 
his sword 


He was 
almost mad 
for fear. 


[Incomplete. The last 35 couplets only left.] 
[Dramatis Personae. 
Isaac. Jacob. Esaw. Rebecca.] 

[Isaac.'] Com nere son and kys me, 
that 1 I may feyle the smerl of* the. 
The smerl of my son is lyke 
to a feld with flouris, or 1 hony bike, 
where art 1 thou, Esaw, my son ? 

Iacob. here, fader, and askw youre benyson. 


[Fol. 16, a.] 

Isaac bids 
Esau come 
near that he 
may smell 

Jacob comes 
instead and 
asks his 

50 Townehy Plays. V. Isaac. 

Isaac blesses IsaacK The blyssyng my fader gaf to me, 

mlstakTfor god of heuen & I gif the ; 8 

Esau - God gif the plente grete, 

of wyne, of H oyH, and of 1 whete ; 

And graunt 1 thi childre aH 

to worship the, both grete and small ; 12 

who so the blyssys, blyssed be he ; 

who so the waris, wared be he. 

Now has thou my grete blyssyng, 

loue the shaH aH thyne ofspryng 1 ; 16 

Go now wheder thou has to go. 

Iacob. Graunt mercy, s^r, I wiH do so. 

recedet iacob. [Esau- advances.] 

Esau brings Esaw. haue, ete, fader, of 1 myn) huntyng 1 , 
venison he And gif me sythen jour blyssyng. 20 

has prepared . 

and asks his Isaac', Who IS that « 

blessing. _ 

Esaw. 1, youre son 

t Esaw, bryng^9 you venyson. 

Isaac). Who was that 1 was right 1 now here, 
And broght 1 me bruet of 1 a dere % 24 

T ete weH, and blyssyd hym ; 
And he is blyssyd, ich a lym). 

Esaw. Alas ! I may grete and sob. 
Isaac sees Isaac\ Thou art begylyd thrugh iacob, 28 

been That 1 is thyne awne german) brother*. 

Jacob. Esaw. haue ye kepyd me none other 1 

Blyssyng then ye set 1 hym one 1 
He gives Isaac, sich another* haue I none; 32 

feiSsing Bott god gif the to thyn handband 
e ean * the dew of heuen & frute of land* ; 

Other* then this can I not 1 say. 
Esau vows Esaw. Now, alas, and walo-way ! 36 

to slay Jacob __ T .,, ,, . . 

if he meet May 1 witn that 1 tratoure mete, 

my faders dayes shaH com with grete, 

And my moders 

may I hym mete, I shaH hym slo. 40 

[Esaw retires. Rebecca advances,] 

Rebecca. Isaac 1 , it 1 were my deth 
If Iacob weddeth in kynd of heth : 

Towneley Plays. V. Isaac. 


I wiH send hym to aran, 

there my brothere dwellys, laban ; 44 

And there may lie serue in peasse 

tiH his brother's wrath wiH seasse. 

why shuld? I apon a day 

loyse both my sonnes 1 better nay. 48 

Isaac* . Thou says soth, wife ; carl hym heder, 
And let vs teU hym where & wheder 
That he may tie esaw, 

that 1 vs both heU's bale to brew. 52 

[Iacob advances.] 

Rebecca. Iacob, son ! thi fader & I 
wold? speke with the j com, stand* vs by ! 
Out 1 of 1 contry must 1 thou tie, 
that 1 Esaw slo not the. 56 

Iacob. "Whederward? shuld? I go, dame 1 

Rebecca. To mesopotameam ; 
To my brothere, and thyn erne, 

that dwellys besyde Iordan streme ; 60 

And ther 1 may thou with hym won, 
to Esaw, niyne other' son), 
fforget, and aU his wrath be dede. 

Iacob. I will go, fader, at youre rede. 64 

Isaac. Yei, son, do as thi moder says ; 
Com kys vs both, & weynd thi ways. 
' et osculatui. 

Iacob. Haue good day, sir and dame ! 

Isaac. God shield 1 the, son, from syn and shame ! 68 

Rebecca. And gif 1 the grace, good man to be, 
And send me glad tythyngw to the. 

Explicit Isaac. 

Rebecca and 
Isaac resolve 
to send 
Jacob to his 
uncle Laban 
till Esau's 
wrath, cease. 

tells Jacob 
he must flee 
from Esau. 

[Fol. 16, b.] 

He kisses his 
father & 
mother, & 
goes his way 
with their 

52 Towneley Plays. VI. Jacob. 


SequiW iacob. 

[71 couplets aa.] 

[Dramatis Personae. 

Lya. [Leah.] j 
Turmae. \ 




Jacob prays ' f ;§~ e *P me lo?&, adonay, 
his guide 6 on And bald' me in the right 1 way 



his way * To mesopotameam ; 

ffor 1 1 cam neuer or* now where I am j 4 

I cam neuer here in this contre ; 

lord' of 1 heuen, thou help me ! 

ffor 1 1 haue maide me, in this strete, 
' sore bonys & warkand feete. 8 

The son is downe, what is best 1 ? 
He lies down her* purpose I ail nyght to rest 1 ; 
a stone P for a Vnder* my hede this ston) shal ly ; 

pmow * A nyghtw rest 1 take wiH I. 12 

to°wm and* -Deus. Iacob, iacob, thi god I am ; [Deuus appears above.] 
blesses him. Of 1 thi forfader abraham, 

And of 1 thi fader Isaac ; 

I shaH the blys for 1 thare sake. 1 6 

This land? that 1 thou slepys in, 

I shaH the gif 1 , and thi kyn ; 

I shaH thi seede multyply, 

As thyk as powder on ertii may ly. 20 

The kynd of 1 the shaH sprede wide, 

ffrom eest 1 to west 1 on euery syde, 

ffrom the south vnto the north ; 

AH that 1 1 say, I shaH forth ; 24 

And aH the foYkis of 1 thyne ofspryng, 

shal be blyssyd of 1 thy blyssyng 1 . 

Iacob, haue thou no kyns drede ! 

I shaH the clethe, I shaH the fede. 28 

WhartfuH shaH I make thi gate ; 

I shal the help erly and late ; 

Towneley Plays. VI. Jacob. 


And aH in qwarf shaH I bryng the 
home agane to thi countre. 
I shaH not 1 fayH, be thou bold?, 
Bot I shaH do as I haue told?. 

hie vigilet. 

Iacob. A ! lord ! what 1 may this mene] 
what 1 haue I herd* in slepe, and sene 1 
That god leynyd hym to a stegh, 
And spake to me, it 1 is no leghe; 
And now is here none othere gate, 
bot 1 god^'s howse and heuens yate. 
lord, how dredfuH is this stede ! 
ther* I layde downe my hede, 
In godis lovyng 1 1 rayse this stone, 
And? oyH will I putt 1 theron). 
lord 1 of 1 heuen, that aH wote, 
here to the I make a hote : 
If 1 thou gif 1 me mete and foode, 
And close to body, as I behoued ? , 
And bryng me home to kytfi. and kyn, 
by the way that I walk in, 
without 1 skathe and in quarte, 
I promyse to the, with stedfast 1 hart 1 , 
As thou art 1 lord? and god myne, 
And I Iacob, thi trew hyne, 
This stone jl rayse in sygne to day 
shaH I hold? holy kyrk for 1 ay ; 
And of 1 aH: that 1 newes me 
rightwys tend 1 shaH I gif 1 the. 

hie egrediatux iacob de aran in texram natiuitatis sue. 

A, my fader, god of 1 heuen, 
that 1 saide to me, thrugh thi steven, 
when I in aran was dwelland*, 
that 1 I shuld turne agane to land? 
Ther* I was both fed and borne, 
warnyd thou me, lord, beforne, 
As I went 1 toward aran 
with my staff, and passyd* Iordan : 

God pro- 
of) mises him a 
O^ peaceful 

return home. 







awakes, & 
sets up a 
stone in 
praise of 
God, pouring 
oil thereon. 

The stone is 
his witness, 
that if God 
provides for 
him & brings 
him home in 
peace he will 
hold to his 
holy Church 
for ever. 

[Fol. 17, a.] 

On his return 
g0 from Aran, 
God's pro- 



Toivneley Plays. VI. Jacob. 

Jacob is re- 
turning with 
two hosts of 

He prays 
God to pro- 
tect him 
from Esau. 

He has sent 
Esau many- 
beasts as a 
present, & 
hopes it 
may pacify 

And now I com agane to kyth, 

with two ostes of 1 men me with. 

Thou hete me, lord', to do well with me, 

to multyplye my seede as sand of 1 see ; 

Thou saue me, lord*, thrugfr vertew, 

ffrom veniance of 1 Esaw, 

That 1 he slo not 1 , for" old? greme, 

these moders with thare barne teme. 

HacheR. Oure anguysh, sir 1 , is many fold', 
syn that 1 oure messyngere vs told' 
That Esaw wold' you slo, 
with foure hundreth men and mo. 

Iacob. ffor ) soth, racheH, I haue hym sent 
of 1 many beesto's sere present". 
May tyde he wiH oure giitis take, 
And right 1 so shall his wrath slake, 
where ar ) oure thjngis, ar* thay past Iordan 1 

Lya. Go and look, sir 1 , as ye can. 






hie scrutetui superlectile, & luctetui angelus cum eo. 

He wrestles 
with God, 
and will not 
let Him go. 

God changes 
his name to 

Jacobs asks 
God's name, 
and is told 

Deus. The day spryngw ; now lett 1 me go. 

Iacob. Nay, nay, I wiH not so, 
Bot 1 thou blys me or* thou gang : 
If I may, I shall hold' the lang. 

Deus. In tokynyng that 1 thou speHs with me, 
I shall toche now thi thee, 
That halt shaH thou euermore, 
bot 1 thou shall fele no sore ; 
What 1 is thy name, thou me teH 1 

Iacob. Iacob. 

Deus. nay, bot 1 Israeli ; 

syn thou to me sich strengths may kythe, 
to men of 1 erth thou must be stythe. 

Iacob. what is thy name 1 

Deus. whi askis thou it 1 

1 wonderful!,' if 1 thou wil wyt. 

Iacob. A, blys me, lord? ! 

Deus. I shaH the blys, 

And be to the fuH propyce, 





Towneley Plays. VI. Jacob, 55 

And gyf 1 the my blyssyng for 1 ay, God blesses 

As lord and he that 1 aH may. 

I shaH grayth thi gate, 

And furl well ordeyn thi state ; 104 

when thou has drede, thynk on me, 

And thou shal fuH well saynyd be, 

And look thou trow weH my sayes ; 

And farewell now, the day dayes. 108 

Iacob. Now haue I a new name, israeH : Jacob calls 

' the place 

this place shaH Thigh t] fanueH, "PanueU," 

r L . . for he has 

ffor 1 1 haue seyn in this place, seen God 

J r i face to fac& 

god of* heuen) face to face. 112 

RacheR. Iacob, lo we haue tythand? Rachel 

. announces 

that 1 Esaw is here at 1 hand. the approach 

hie diuidit tmmas in tres pontes. 

of Esau. 

Iacob. EacheH, stand thou in the last 1 eschele, J? c .o, b , . 

divides his 

ffor* I wold? thou were sauyd wele : 116 hosts into 

three parts, 

CaH Ioseph and-beniamin, placing 

r Rachel & her 

And let 1 thevm not 1 fro the twyn. sons in the 

T . . , _ J third for 

lr it 1 be so that 1 Esaw safety, 

vs before aH-to-hew, 120 

Ye that 1 ar* here the last 1 [Fol. 17, b.] 

Ye may be sauyd if 1 ye He fast. 

& vadat ifrcob osculand) Esaw; venit iacob, flectit 

genua exorando deum, & leuando, occuirit illi Esaw 

in amplexibus. 

Iacob. I pray the, lord, as thou me heft, Jacob & 

1 thou saue me and* my gete. 124 ea^h other 

Esaw. welcom brother*, to kyn and kyth, kmdiy. 

thi wife and childre thaft comes the with, 
how has thou far en in far 1 land? % 
teU me now som good tythand?. 128 

Iacob. Well, my brother* Esaw, 
If 1 thaft thi men no bale me brew. 

dicit seruis suis. 

Esaw. wemo ! felows, hold youre hend, Esau bids 


1 MS. that. 

ye se that I and he ai> frend', 132 gSXSta? 


Towneley Plays. VII. The Prophets. 


thanks Esau 
for his 

Esau recog- 
nizes him as 
his lord 

And frenship here wiH we fulfiH, 
syn that 1 it 1 is gock's wiH. 

Iacob. God yeld you, brothere, that it so is 
that* thou thi hyne so wold? kys. 

Esaw. Nay, Iacob, my dere brothere, 
I shaH the teH att anothere ; 
Thou art 1 my lord' thrugh destyny ; 
go we togeder both thou and I, 
To my fader and his wife, 
that 1 lofys the, brother*, as thare lyfe. 

Explicit Iacob. 



reminds the 
people of 
Israel of the 
tion of 

God will 
raise up a 
prophet, & 
all who 
believe in 
him shall be 

Processus Prophetarwm. 

[Incomplete : 39 six-lined stanzas, aab ccb, and 4 bits of Latin.] 
[Dramatis Personae. 
Dauid. Sybilla propheta. Daniel.] 


PRophetain excitabifr deus de f ratribws vestris ; 
Omms arcima, que now audierif prophetam ilium, 
exterminabitwr de popwlo suo ; 
JSTemo p?*ophe£a sine honore nisi in patria sua. 


AH ye folk of 1 israeH, 
herkyn to me ! I wiH you teH 

Tythyngzs farly goode ; 3 

AH wote ys how it 1 be fell 
wherfor 1 Adam was dampnyd? to heH, 

he, and aH his blode. 6 

Therfor 5 wiH god? styr* and rayse 
A prophete, in som man dayes, 

Of* onre brethere kyn ; 9 

And aH trowes as he says, 
And wiH walk in his ways, 

ffrom heH he wiH theym twyn. 12 

Tovmeley Plays. VII. The Prophets. 


when his tyme begynnys to day, 
I rede no man fro hym dray, 

In way, ne stand on strut ; 
ffor he that wiH nofr here his sagh, 
he be shewed? as an out-lagh, 

And from his iolhis be putt 1 . 

I warne you weH that same prophete 
shaH com hereafter ward', furl swete, 

And many meruels shew ; 
Man snarl faH tiH his feete, 
rTor 1 cause he can bales beete, 

Thrugh his awn thew. 

AH that 1 wiH in irowth ren 
shaH he saue, I warne you then, 

Trust 1 shaH his name be. 
Bot 1 aH oue?' wiH man prophete ken 
with worship, amang^'s men, 

Bot 1 in his awne countre. 

I (6) 

herkyns ali, both yong and old* ! 
God that 1 has aH in wold?, 

Gretys you /bi me ; 
his commaundementos ar* ten ; 
Behold', ye that ar* his men, 

here ye may theym se. 


his co??imaundement£s that I haue broght 1 , 
looke that ye hold* thaym noght 1 

ffor' tryfyls, ne for* fables ; 
ffor ye shaH weH vnderstand? 
That 1 god wrote theym wit7i his hand? 

In thyse same tables. 


Ye that 1 thyse in hart wiH halo?, 
vnto heuen shaH ye be cald', 









He who will 
not hear him 
shall be as 
an outlaw 

The prophet 
shall show 
o 1 marvels. 


He will save 
them who 
walk in 

But a pro- 
phet ever 
has honour 
save in his 

[Fol. 18, a.] 
Moses de- 
clares God's 

They are no 
trifles nor 

God wrote 
them with 
42 His own 


They who 
hold them in 
their heart 
shall go to 
heaven ; 
those who do 
not, to hell. 

The first 
ment is 

The second, 
falsely by 
God's name. 

The third, 
to keep the 
holy day. 

The fourth, 
to honour 
father and 

The fifth, 
to forsake 
& take a 

The sixth, 
to be no 

The seventh, 
not to steal. 

The eighth, 
to be true of 

Toivneley Plays, VII. The Prophets, 

That 1 is fyrst to com) ; 
And ye that wiH not do so, 
TiH heH: pyne mon ye go, 

And byde a bytter dome. 

Do now as I shaH you wys ; 

The fyrst commaundement 1 is this 

That 1 1 shall you say ; 
Make no god of 1 stok ne stone, 
And* trow in none god bofr oone, 

That 1 mayde both nyght and day. 
Anothere bydz's thou shaH not swere, 
ffor 1 no mede, ne for 1 no dere, 

ffalsly, bi godz's name ; 
If 1 thou swere wrongwosly, 
Wit thou weH and wytterly, 

Thou) art worthi grete blame. 


The thyrd? is, thou shaH weH yheme 
Thi holy day, and serue to wheme 

God with aH thi hart 1 . 
The fourt 1 commaundement 1 is bi tayH, 
ffader and moder worship thou shaH, 

In pouert 1 and in qwarte. 
The fyft commaundz's thou shaH forsake 
ft'ornycacyon, and take the a make, 

And lyf* in rightwys state. 
The sext 1 commaundz's thou shal not 1 be 
Man sloer 1 , for gold? ne fee, 

2\Te for 1 luf 1 , ne for hate. 


The seuenth commaundz's that 1 thou shaH leue, 
And nather* go to stele ne reue, 

ffor more then for 1 les. 
The aght 1 bydz's both old* and yong, 
That thay be traw of 1 thare tong, 

And bere no fals witnes. 












Towneletj Plays. VII. The Prophets. 

The nenth hydis the, bi thi lif*, 
Thou desyre not 1 thi neghbur's wife, 

3STe mayden that 1 is his. 81 

The tent 1 hi&is the, for* no case, 
Desyre not 1 wranwosly thyng thi neghbur' has ; 

Do thus, and do no mys. 84 

I am the same man that 1 god chase, 
And toke the ten commaundementa's of peasse 

In the monte synay ; 87 

Thise woidis, I say, ar no les ; 
My name is callyd moyses ; 

And hane now aH good day ! [Exit Moses.] 90 

Dauid. Omwes reges adorabunt eum, omnes gentes 
seruient ei. 


herkyn, aH, that 1 here may, 

And perceyf well what I shaR say, 

AH with righ[t]wisnes. 93 

loke ye put 1 it 1 not 1 away, 
Eot 1 thynk theron/ both nyght 1 and day, 

flW it 1 is sothfastnes. 96 

, (") 

Iesse son, ye wote I am ; 

Dauid is my right 1 name, 

And I bere crowne 3 99 

Bot 1 ye me trow, ye ar to blame ; 
Of 1 Israel, both wyld* and tame, 

I haue in my bondon. 1 102 

As god of 1 heuen has gyffyn me wit, 
shall I now syng you a fytt, 

With my mynstrelsy ; 105 

loke ye do it 1 well in wrytt 1 , 
And theron a knot 1 knytt 1 , 

fTor* it 1 is prophecy. 108 


The ninth, 
not to covet 
thy neigh- 
bour's wife. 

The tenth, 
to covet 
nothing of 
thy neigh- 

[Fol. 18, b.] 

These words 
are true. 

David bids 
the people 
think on 

I am Jesse's 
son, David, 
and have all 
Israel sub- 
ject to me. 

He will sing 
a fytt, which 
shall be a 

1 The ryme needs ■ bondowne. 


Towneley Plays. VII. The Prophets. 

David sings 
of the 
coming of 
God's Son 

to be man's 
Saviour. Of 
His coming 
he is glad. 

God's Son 
shall return 
to the 

highest seat 
in heaven. 

He shall be 
lord of all. 
Kings shall 
kneel to 

and bring 
Him rich 

[Fol. 19, a. 
Sig. E. 1.] 

Myrth I make tiH aH men, 
with my harp and fyngers ten, 

And warn theym that thay glad? ; 
ffor god wiH that his son down send*, 
That 1 wroght 1 adam with his hend?, 

And heuen and erth mayde. 
He wiH lyght 1 fro heuen towre, 
fTor to be mans saueyoure, 

And saue that 1 is f orlorne ; 
fTor that 1 1 harp, and myrth make, 
Is for he wiH manhede take, 

I teft you thus beforne ; 

And thider shaH he ren agane, 
As gyant 1 of mych mayne, 

Ynto the hyest 1 sete ; 
Ther is nawther' kyng, ne swayn, 
Then no thyng that 1 may hym layn, 

Ne hyde from his hete. 

he shaH be lord? and kyng of aft, 
TyH hys feete shaH kyng/s faH, 

To offre to hym wytterly. 
Blyssyd* be that 1 swete blome, 
That 1 shaH saue vs at his com) ! 

IoyfuH may we be. 

Kiche gyftz's thay shaH hym bryng, 
And tiH hym make offeryng, 

kneland on thare kne ; 
weft were hym that 1 that lordyng, 
And that dere derlyng 1 , 

Myght 1 bide on lyfe and se. 


Men may know hym bi his marke, 
Myrth and lovyng 1 is his warke, 
that 1 shaH he luf 1 most. 











Towneley Plays. VII. The Prophets. 

lyghtt shaft be born that 1 tyine in darke, 
Both to lawd* man and to dark, 
the luf 1 of rightwys gost. 

Therfor', both emperoure and kyng, 
Eyche and poore, both old? and ying, 

temper weil youre gle, 
Agans that kyng lyght 1 downe, 
ffor 1 to lowse vs of* pryson, 

And make vs all free. 





Light shall 
come both 
to layman 
and to clerk. 

your glee, 
emperor & 
king, till 
that King 
come to 
free us. 

Ostende nobis dora^ne misericordiam tuam, et> salutare 
tuum da 

Thou shew thi mercy, lord, tyft vs, 
ffor to thou com, to hell we trus, 

we may not* go beside ; 
lord, when thi wiH is for 1 to dele 
TyH us thi salue and tfyi hele, 

whom we aft abyde. 

, (27) 
Now haue I songen you a fytt 1 ; 
loke in mynd that ye haue it 1 , 

I rede with my my gilt 1 ; 
he that 1 maide vs aft -with his wytt 1 , 
sheld? vs aft from heft pytt, 

And graunt 1 vs heuew lyght 1 ! 




Till the 
Lord come 
we must all 
go to hell. 

[Exit David.] 162 

I have sung 
you a fytt, 
look you 
keep it in 

sibilla pwpheta. Iudicii signum tellus sudore madescit 1 , 
E celo rex adueniet 1 per secla futurus, 
Scilicet 1 in carne p?*esens vt 1 iudicet 1 orbem. 

Who so wyft here tythyngas glad 8 , 
of 1 hym that aft this warld? made, 

here me wytterly ! 165 

sibift sage is my name ; 
Bot 1 ye me here, ye ar to blame, 

My word? is p?'ophecy. 168 

The Sibyl 
calls on men 
to hear her. 


Towneley Plays. VII. The Projjhets. 

A new king 
is coming to 
fight the 

He shall 
judge the 

Every man 
shall rise in 
his flesh, & 
see Him on 
the Judg- 
ment Day. 

[Fol. 19, b.] 
They shall 
stand before 
Him, and 
the earth 
shall be 
burnt with 

Hill and dale 
shall run 
together & 
all be made 

AH men was slayn thrugh adam syn, 
And put to pyne that 1 neuer shall blyn, 

thrugh falsnes of* the f eynd* ; 
A new kyng comes from heuen to fyght 1 
Agans the feynd, to wyn his right, 

so is his mercy heynd*. 

AH the warlct shaH he deme, 
And that 1 haue seruyd hym to wheme, 

Myrth thaym mon betyde ; 
AH shall se hym with thare ee, 
Eyche and poore, low and hye, 

No man may hym hyde ; 


Bot 1 thay shaH in thare flesh ryse, 
That 1 euery man shaH whake and gryse, 

Agans that ilk dome. 
with his sanU's, many oone, 
he shaH be sene in flesh and f bone, 

that 1 kyng that 1 is to com. 


AH that shaH stand hym before, 
AH shal be les and more, 

Of 1 oone eld J ichon. 
Angels shall' qwake then for 1 ferd, 
And fyre shaH bren this mydyH-erd', 

yei, erth and' aH ther apon). 
shaH nothyng here in erth be kencl, 
Bot it 1 shaH be strewyd* and brendl, 

AH waters and the see. 
sythen shaH both hiH and dale 
Byn togeder, grete and smale, 

And aH shaH euen be. 

At hys commyng shaH bemys blaw, 
That 1 men may his commyng knaw ; 
ffuH sorowfuH shaH be that blast ; 












keep him 
from sin. 

Towneley Plays. VII. The Prophets. 63 

Ther is no man that 1 herys it 1 , Trumpets 

_ , .. ,- , „ , „ , . ... shall blow at 

Bot 1 he shall qwake for an his witt, His coming. 

Be he neuer so stedfast. 204 quake at the 


Then shall hell gape and gryn, Hell shall 

That men may know thare dome therin, TheWshaii 

Of 1 that 1 hye iustyce ; 207 good To 3 ' 

That 1 iH have done, to heli mon go ; 

And to henen the other* also, 

that 1 has been rightwys. 210 

Therfor*, I rede ilk a man, Therefore let 

t -it, -i each man 

kepe, as wen as he can, 

fTro syn and fro mysdede. 213 

My prophecy now haue I told ; 
God? you saue, both yong and old, 

And help von at youre nede ! [Exit Sybil.] 216 

Daniel. Cum venerit sanctus sanctorum cessabit 1 vncio 

God that maide adam and eue, Daniel 

whils thay dyd well, he gaf thaym leue fail of Adam. 

In paradise to dwell ; 219 

Sone when thay that 1 appyll ete, 
Thay were dampned?, sone and skete, 

Ynto the pyne of 1 hen, 222 

Thrugh sorow and paynes euer new ; God ^g 

Therfor wyn god apon vs rew, SS^L 8011 

And his son downe send? 225 aSenlTour 

Into erth, flesh to take, trespass. 

That 1 is all for oure sake, 

oure trespas to amend'. 228 

fflesh with fleshe will be boght, 
That he lose not that he has wroght 

wyth hys. awne hend? ; 231 


Towneley Plays. VIII. Pharaoh. 

He shall be 
born of a 
maiden to 
save the 

Of* a madyn shal he be borne, 
To saue aH that 1 ar* forlorne, 

Euermore withoutten end'. 1 


[Fol. 21, a. 
Sig. E. 3.] 

calls for 

He is king 
as his father 
was before 

All Egypt 

They who 
hearken not 
to his words 
shall be 
hanged high. 


Incipit Pharao. 

[36 eight-line stanzas, ab ab ab ab ; 1 seven-line {no. 49), ab ab aba ; 
1 six {no. 55), ab ab ab ; 32 fours, ab ab ; and 2 single lines, 109, 

[Dramatis Personae 
Pharao. I Moyses. i Primus Puer. 

Primus Miles. Deus. ' Secundus Puer.] 

Secundus Miles. I 

Pharao. (1) Litsters Pagonn* 

PEas, of payn that* no man pas ; 
bott kepe the course that I commaunde, 
And take good hede of hym that 1 has 
youre helth aH holy in hys hande ; 4 

ifor kyng pharro my fader Was, 
And led thys lordshyp of thys land ; 
I am hys hayre as age Wyll has, 

Euer in stede to styr or stand. 8 

AH Egypt is myne awne 

To leede aftyr my law ; 
I Wold my myght Were knawne 3 

And honoryd, as hyt awe. 12 

ffuli low he shaH be thrawme 

That 1 harkyns not my sawe, 
hanged hy and drawne, 

Therfor no boste ye blaw ; 1 6 

1 This Play is unfinished, the rest of fol. 19 b, and the whole of 
fol. 20, being left blank. 

2 This is written at top of the page in the margin, in a more 
recent hand ; but about half-way down (and not in the margin) are 
the words "lyster play," in yet another hand. 

3 MS. knowne. 

Towneley Plays. VIII. Pharaoh. 65 


Bot 1 as for kyng I co?wmaund peasse, Be obedient 

find t&lcf 1 

To aH the people of thys empyre. heed to me. 

looke no man put hym self in preaase, 

Bot 1 that WyK do as I desyre, 20 

And of youre Word^s look that ye seasse. 

Take tent 1 to me, youre soferand syre, 
That* may youre comfort most increasse, 

And to my lyst bo we lyfe and lyre. 24 

Pibnus Miles. My lord, if any here "Were, The 1st 

mi . -m- it, i ttt ,-. soldier will 

Inat Wold not 1 wyrk youre Wyll, [Foi. 21, t>.] kin any one 

If "We myght com thaym nere, not work 

ffuH soyn we shuld theym spy ft. 28 



Pharao. Thrugh out 1 my kyngdom Wold I ken, Pharaoh 

And kun hym th^nk that 1 Wold me tell, are any in* 6 

If any Were so Waryd men who^fhhTs 

That 1 wold my fors downe fell. 32 doWDfa11 - 
Secundus Miles. My lord, ye haue a maner of men 

that make great 1 mastres vs emell ; Soldier* 1 

The lues that W T on in gersen, jew" 6 

thay ar callyd chyldyr of Israel. 36 [^^^ 


Thay multyplye fuH fast 1 , 

and sothly We suppose 
That 1 shaft euer last 1 , 

oure lordshyp for to lose. 40 

Pharao. Why, how haue thay sych gawdis begun 1 
ar thay of myght to make sych frayes 1 
Primus Jfiles. Yei, lord, fuH fell folk ther Was fun 
In kyng pharao, youre fader dayes. 44 

Thay cam of Ioseph, Was iacob son — ■ They come 

he Was a prince Worthy to prayse— SSn. 

In sythen in ryst 1 haue thay ay ron ; 

thus ar thay lyke to lose youre layse, 48 

T. PLAYS. p 


Towneley Plays. VIII. Pharaoh. 

The Jews 
will con- 
Pharaoh, if 
they go on 

They were 
but 70 when 
they came, 
and after 
400 years are 
300,000 men. 

to crush 
them by 

He is told of 
a prophecy, 
& gives 
orders that 
shall kill all 

[Fol. 22, a. 
Big. E. 4.] 

The rest 
shall be kept 
in bondage 
to ditch and 


Thay WyH confound you cleyn, 49 

bott if thay soner sesse. 

Pharao. "What 1 deuytt is that 1 thay nieyn 
that 1 thay so fast* incresse 1 52 


>Secunc?us Jfiles. How thay incres fult weH we ken, 

as oure faders dyd vnderstand ; 
Thay Were hot* sexty and ten 

when thay fyrsfr cam in to thys land ; 56 

Sythen haue soierned in gersen 

[Fower hundreth] * Wynter, I dar warand ; 
!Now ar thay nowmbred of myghty men 

moo then [thre hundreth] 2 thousand, 60 


Wyth outen Wyfe and chyld, 
or hyi'di's that kepe thare fee. 

Pharao. How thus myght we be begyld 1 
bot 1 shaft it not 1 be ; 64 


ffor wyth quantyse we shall thaym quell, 
so \at thay shall not far sprede. 

Pri??ius Miles. My lord, we haue hard oure faders tell, 
and clerks that well couth rede, 68 

Ther shuld a man walk vs ameli 
that shuld fordo vs and oure dede. 

Pharao. fT y on hym, to the deuyH of heH ! 
sych destyny wyft we not 1 drede ; 72 

We shal make mydwyfzs to spyft them) 

where any ebrew is borne, 
And aft menkynde to kyft them), 

so shaft thay soyn be lorne. 76 

And as for elder haue I none awe, 

sych bondage shaft I to thaym beyde, 
To dyke and delf, here and draw, 

and to do aft vnhonest deyde ; 80 

1 MS. iiijc. 2 MS. ccc. 

Towneley Plays. VIII. Pharaoh. 


So shaH these ladch's be halden law, 
In thraldom euer thare lyfe to leyde. 
Semndus ikfiles. Now, cerfo's, thys was a soteH saw, 
thus shaH these folk no farthere sprede. 


The second 
thinks this 
a subtle 

Phar ao. Now help to hald theym downe, 

look I no fayntnes fynde. 

Primus Miles. AH redy, lord, We shaH be bowne, 

in bondage thaym to bynde. 

Tunc Intrat ] moyses cum. virgd in manu, etc. 


says there 
must be no 


Moyses. Gret god, that aH thys Warld began, 

and growndyd it in good degre, 
Thou mayde me, moyses, vnto man, 

and sythen thou sauyd me from the se ; 92 

kyng Pharao had commawndyd 1 than, 

ther shuld no man chyld sauyd be ; 
Agans hys WyH away I wan ; 

thus has god* shewed hys myght for me. 96 

thanks God 
for saving 
him from 
Pharaoh at 
his birth. 

Now am I sett to kepe, 

vnder thys montayn syde, 
Byshope Iettyr shepe, 

to better may be tyde ; 


He is now 
set to keep 
sheep till 

' (17) 

A, lord, grete is thy myght ! 

What man may of yond menieU meyn? 
Yonder I se a selcowth syght, 

sych on in Warld Was neuer seyn ; 
A bush I se burnand fuH bryght, 

and euer elyke the leyfes are greyn ; 
If it be wark of Warldly Wyght, 

I WyH go wyt wythoutyn Weyn. 

Deus. Moyses, Moyses ! 



He sees a 
sight, a bush 
while its 
leaves keep 

hie pvoj)erat ] ad ruuum, et dicit ] ei deus, etc. 


Towneley Plays. VIII. Pharaoh. 

God bids 
Moses take 
off his shoes 
for the place 
is hallowed. 


Moyses, com not to nere, 

bot styH in that stede thou dwelt, 
And harkyn vnto me here; 

take tent What I the tell, 
do of thy shoyes in fere, 

wyth mowth as I the meH, 
the place thou standi in there 

forsothe, is halowd Well. 




He declares 
himself as 
the God who 

Isaac and 


I am thy lord, Wythouten lak, 

to lengthe thi lyfe euen as I lyst ; 
I am god that som tyme spake 

to thyn elders, as thay Wyst ; 
To abraam, and Isaac, 

and iacob, I sayde shuld be blyst, 
And multytude of them to make, 

so that thare seyde shuld not be myst. 




He will not 
Pharaoh to 
hurt the 

Bot now thys kyng, pharao, 

he hurtys my folk so fast, 
If that I sufHre hym so, 

thare seyde shuld' soyne be past ; 
Bot I WyH not so do, 

in me if thay Wyrl trast, 
[Foi. 22, b.] Bondage to bryng 1 thaym fro. 

therfor thou go in hast 1 




bidden to 
tell Pharaoh 
to let the 
Jews go to 
the Wilder- 
ness to 


To do my message, haue in mynde, 

to hym that me sych harme mase ; 
Thou speke to hym Wyth wordz's heynde, 

so that 1 he let my people pas, 
To Wyldernes that 1 thay may Weynde, 

to Worshyp me as I wyH asse. 
Agans my wyH if that thay leynd, 

f ul soyn hys song shall be ' alas. ' 



Towneley Plays. VIII. Pharaoh. 


A, lord ! pardon me, Wyth thy leyf, 
that 1 lynage luffVs me noght ; 
Gladly thay Wold me greyf, 

if I sycn bodworde broghfr. 145 

Good lord, lett som othere frastt, 
that has more fors the folke to fere. 

Deus. Moyses, be thou nott abasft, 
my bydyng shaH thou boldly here ; 

If thay with wrong away Wold Wrasfr, 
outt of the way I shall the Were. 

Moyses. Good lord, thay Wyrl not me trast 
for all the othes that I can swere ; 

To neuen sych noytis newe 

to folk of Wykyd WyH, 
Wyth outen tokyn trew, 

thay wyH not tent ther tytt. 157 


Deus. If that he wyH not vnderstand 

thys tokyn trew that I shaH sent, 
Afore the kyng cast downe thy Wand, 

and it shaH turne to a serpent ; 161 

Then take the tayH agane in hand — 

boldly vp look thou it hent — 
And in the state that thou it fand, 

then shal it turne by myne intent 1 . 165 

Sythen hald thy hand soyn in thy barme, 

and as a lepre it shal be lyke, 
And hole agane with outen harme ; 

lo, my tokyns shal be slyke. 169 

And if he wyH not suffre then 

my people for to pas in peasse, 
I shaH send venyance [neyn] 1 or ten, 

shaH sowe fuH sore or I seasse. 173 

1 MS. ix. 

Moses begs 
God to send 
somebody of 
more force. 

God bids 
him not be 
149 abashed. 

Moses fears 
that without 
a token he 
will not be 
153 trusted. 

A wand that 
shall turn 
into a ser- 
pent & again 
into a wand 
shall be his 

He shall be 
able to make 
his hand 
leprous or 

If Pharaoh 
will not let 
the people 
go, God will 
punish him. 


Tovmeley Plays. VIII. Pharaoh. 

TheHebrews Bot the ebrewes, won in lessen, 

shall escape 

the plagues. snail not be merkyd with that measse ; 
As long as thay my lawes Wyll ken 
thare comforth shall euer increasse. 

Moyses. A, lord, to luf the aght vs weH, 
that make's thy folk thus free ; 
I shall vnto thaym tell 
as thou has told to me. 




Moses asks 
by what 
name he is 
to speak to 
Pharaoh of 

God tells 
him and 
blesses him. 

[Fol. 23, a.] 


Bot to the kyng, lord, when I com, 
if he aske what 1 is thy 1 name, 

And I stand styH, both deyf & dom, 
how shuld* I [skape] 2 w/t7ioutten blame 1 

Deus. I say the thus, ' Ego sum qui su??z,' 
I am he that is the same ; 

If thou can nother muf nor mom, 
I shall sheld? the from shame. 


Moyses. I vnderstand fuH weH thys thyng, 
I go, lord, with all the myght in me. 

Deus. Be bold in my blyssyng 1 , 
thi socoure shall I be. [Deus retires!] 





resolves to 
tell his 
friends of 

this comfort, lo my ireynd 

The boys he 
speaks to 
complain of 
their lot. 

Moyses. A, lord of luf, leyn me thy lare, 

that I may truly talys teH ; 

now wyH I fare, 

the chosyn childre of Israeli, 197 

To teH theym comforth of thare care, 

in dawngere ther as thay dwell. 
God manteyn you euermare, [Moses accosts the hoys.] 

And mekyH myrth be you emeH. 201 

primus puer. A, master moyses, dere ! 
oure myrth is aH mowrnyng ; 

ffull hard halden ar we here, 
as carls vnder the kyng. 205 

1 MS. my. 2 MS. skake. 

Tovmelcy Plays. VIII. Pharaoh. 



Secimdus puer. We may niowm, both more and myn, 
tlier is no man that oure myrth mase ; 

Bot syn we ar aH of a kyn, 
god send vs comforth in thys case. 209 

Moyses. Brethere, of youre mowrnyng blyn ; 
god WyH delyue?- you thrugfc his grace, 

Out 1 of this wo he wyH you wyn, 
and put you to youre pleassyng place ; 213 


ffor I shaft carp vnto the kyng, 
and fownd fuH soyn to make you free. 

primus puer. Goji graunt you good Weyndyng, 
and eue?*more with you be. 217 

[Moses approaches Pharaoh.'] 


Moyses. kyng pharao, to me take tent. 

Pharao. Why, boy, what tythyngzs can thou teft 1 

Moyses. ftrom god hym self hydder am I sent 
to foche the chyldre of Israeli ; 221 

To Wyldernes he wold thay went. 

Pharao. yei, weynd the to the clevyH of herl ! 
I gyf no force What he has menft, 

In my dangere, herst thou, shall thay dwell ; 225 


And, fature, for thy sake, 
thay shalbe put to pyne. 

Moyses. Then wyH god venyance take 
of the, and of aH thyn. 229 


Pharao. On me 1 fy on the lad, out of my land ! 
wenys thou thus to loyse oure lay ? 

[To the soldiers.] 

Say, whence is yond warlow with his wand 
that thus wold wyle oure folk away? 233 

Primus, Miles. Yond is moyses, I dar warand, 
agans aH egypt has beyn ay, 

Greatt defawte with hym youre fader fand ; 
now wyH he mar you) if he may. 237 

They pray 
God send 
them com- 

& wish 

Moses asks 
Pharaoh to 
let the 
Israelites i 
go to the 

refuses, with 

The 1st 
soldier says 
Moses has 
ever been a 
foe to Egypt. 


Towneley Plays. VIII. Pharaoh. 

asks Moses 
for a token. 

[Fol. 23, b.] 

He changes 
his wand 
into a 


changes it 
back again. 

says these 
gauds shall 
help the 


Pharao. ffy on hym ! nay, nay, that dawnce is done ; 
lurdan, thou leryd to late. 

Moyses. God byd^s the graunt my bone, 
and let me go my gate. 241 . 


Pharao. Bydfl's god me 1 fals loseH, thou) lyse ! 
What tokyn told he 1 take thou tent. 

Moyses. He sayd thou) shuld dyspyse 
both me, and hys coramaundementt ; 245 

fforthy, apon thys wyse, 
my Wand he bad, in thi present 1 , 

I shuld lay downe, and the avyse 
how it shuld turne to oone serpent ; 249 

And in hys holy name 

here I lay it downe ; 
lo, syr, here may thou se the same. 

Pharao. A, ha, dog ! the devyH the drowne ! 253 


Moyses. He bad me take it* by the tayU, 
for to pref e hys powere playn) ; 

Then he sayde, wythouten fayH, 
hyt shuld turne to a wand agayn. 257 

lo, sir, behold ! 

Pharao. wyth ylahayH ! 

Cert/s this is a soteri swayn ! 

bot thyse boyes shall abyde in bayH, 
AH thi g&w&is shall thaym not gayn ; 261 


Bot wars, both morn and none, 
shaH thay fare, for thi sake. 

Moyses. I pray god send us venyange sone, 
and on thi Wark^s take wrake. 265 


primus Miles. Alas, alas ! this land is lorn ! 
on lyf e we may [no] longer leynd ; 

Sych myschefe is fallen syn morn, 
ther may no medsyn it amend. 269 

Towneley Plays. VIII. Pharaoh. 


The soldiers 
the first 
plague : the 
waters are 
turned to 
red blood. 

The 2nd 
plague : 

Pharao. Why cry ye so, l&ddisl lyst ye skorn? 
ijus Miles. Syr kyng, sych care was neuer kend, 
In no mans tyme that 1 euer was borne. 

Pharao. TeH on, belyfe, and make an end. 273 


Pri??ras Miles. Syr, the Waters that were ordand 
for men and hestis foyde, 

Thrugh ontt aH egypfr land, 
ar turnyd into reede bloyde ; 277 


ffuH vgly and fuH yH is hytt, 
that both fresh and' £ayre- was before. 

Pharao. 0, ho ! this is a wonderfuH thyng to wytt, 
of aH the warlu's that 1 euer wore ! 281 

*)'us Miles. Nay, lord, ther is anothere yit, 
that 1 sodanly sowys vs fuH sore ; 

ffor tody's and froslm may no man flyt, 
thay venom vs so, both les and more. 285 

Pri?nus Miles. Greatte mysU's, sir, ther is both morn The 3rd 

J plague: 

and noyn, great 

byte vs full bytterly ; [gnats] 

we trow that it be doyn bitterly, 

thrugh moyses, oure greatte enmy. 289 


ijus Miles. My lord, bof if this menye may remefe, 
Mon neuer niyrth be vs amang. 

Pharao. Go, say to hym we wyH not 1 grefe, 
bot 1 thay shall neuer the tytter gang 1 . 293 

Pri?ttus Miles. Moyses, my lord gyffys leyfe 
to leyd thi folk to lykyng lang, 

So that 1 we mend of oure myschefe. 

Moyses. ffuH weH I wote, thyse wovdis ar wrang ; 297 

But hardely aH that I heytt 

ffuH sodanly it shall be seyn ; 
vncowth meruels shalbe meyt 

And he of malyce meyn. 301 


offers to let 
the Jews go 

[Fol. 24, a.] 


Towneley Plays. VIII. Pharaoh. 

The 4th 
plague : 

The 5th 
plague: a 
murrain on 
the cattle. 


renews his 

The 6th 
plague : 
boils & 

The 7th 
plague : 
hail and 


Secundus i/iles. A, lord, alas, for doyH we dy ! 302 
we dar look oute at 1 no dowre. 

Pharao. What 1 , ragyd the dwyH of heH, alys you so 
to cry 1 ? 

Primus iliiles. ffor we fare wars then euer we fowre ; 305 
grete loppys oue?* aH \is land thay fly, 

And where thay byte thay make grete blowre, 
and in euery place oure bestis dede ly. 1 308 


Secundus Miles, hors, ox, and asse, 
thay faH downe dede, syr, sodanly. 

Phorao. we ! lo, ther is no man that has 
half as mych harme as I. 312 


Primus ITiles. yis, sir, poore folk haue mekyH wo, 

to se thare cataH thus out cast. 

The lues in gessen fayre not 1 so, 
thay haue lykyng for to last. 316 

Pharao. Then shall we gyf theym leyf to go, 
to tyme this pe?*erl be on past ; 

Bot 1 , or thay flytt oght 1 far vs fro, 
we shall \em bond twyse as fast. 320 


Secxmdus i/iles. Moyses, my lord gyfrYs leyf 
thi meneye to remeue. 

Moyses. ye mon hafe more myschefe 
bot 1 if thyse talys be trew. 324 


Primus Miles. A, lord, we may not leyde thyse lyfys. 

Pharao. what, dwyH ! is grevance grofen agayn 1 

Secimdus ilfiles. ye, sir, sich powder apon vs dryfys, 
where it abides it 1 makys a blayn; 328 

MeseH makys it man and wyfe, 2 
thus ar we hurt with hayH & rayn. 

Syr, vnys in montanse may not 1 thryfe, 
so has frost & thoner thaym slayn. 332 

1 The following line in — owre is left out. 

2 The singular rymes with the plural now and then. 

Towneley Plays. VIII. Pharaoh. "Jo 

Pliarao. yei, botf how do thay in gessen, Pharaoh 

J ' rages when 

the lues, can ye me say** he hears the 

^ Tiii Jews are 

Primus Miles. Of aff thyse cares no thyng thay ken, unhurt by 

no a these harms. 

thay feyH noght of our afray. 060 


Pliarao. No % the ragyd ! the dwyft ! sytt thay in peasse 1 
and we euery day in donte & drede 1 

ijvLS Miles. My lord, this care wyll euer encrese, 
to moyses haue his folk to leyd ; 

Els be we lorn, it is no lesse, 
yifr were it better that J>ai yede. 342 


Pliarao. Thes folk shall fly fr no far, But still will 

" not let them 

If he go welland wode. go. 

Primus Miles. Then wirl it sone be war ; [Foi. 24, b.] 

It 1 were better thay yode. 346 


ijus Miles. My lord, new harme is comyn in hand. The 8th 

plague : wild 

Pliarao. Yei, d'wiH, will it 1 no better be % worms, or 

Primus Miles, wyld wormes ar layd ouer aH this land, 
Thai leyf no floure, nor leyf on tre. 350 

ijus Miles. Agans thatstorme may no man stand; 
And mekyH more merueH thynk me, 

That 1 thise thre l dayes has bene durand The 9th 

Sich myst, \at no man may other se. 354 great mist 

-r, . ,,., . it. or darkness. 

Primus Miles. A, my lord ! 
Pliarao. hagh ! 

ijus Miles. Grete pestilence is comyn ; 2 The 10th 

It 1 is like ful long to last. pestilence. 

Pliarao. [pestilence 3 ] in the dwilys name ! 
then is oure pWde ouer past. 359 

Primus Miles. My lord, this care lastz's lang, The 1st 

; °' soldier says 

and wifi, to moyses naue nis bone ; care win last 

. . , . till Moses 

let hym go, els wyrk we wrang, be satisfied. 

If may not help to houer ne hone. 363 

1 MS. iij. 2 Its rymc name is assonantal. 

3 MS. pentilence. 


Tovmeley Plays. VIII. Pharaoh. 

ives leave 



doubt, but 




Pharao. Then wilt we gif theym leyf to gang ; 
for the Jews Syn if must 1 nedzs be doyn ; 
hopes to Perchauns we salt thaym fang 

catch them , . , , 

again. and mar them or to morn at 1 none. 

«/us Miles. Moyses, my lord he says 

thou shall haue passage playn. 
Moyses. Now haue we lefe to pas, 

my freyndw, now be ye fayn ; 


Com furth, now saH ye weynd 
to land of lykyng you to pay. 

Primus puer. Bott kyng Pharao, that fals feynd, 
he wiH vs eft betray ; 

ffuH soyn he wiH shape vs to sheynd, 
And after vs send his garray. 

Moyses. Be not 1 abast 1 , god is oure freynd, 
And all oure foes wiH slay ; 


Therfor com on with me, 
haue done and drede you noght. 

ijus Puer. That 1 lord blyst might he be, 
that vs from bayrl has broght. 


Primus puer. Sich frenship neuer we fand ; 
bofr yifr I drede for perels aU, 

The reede see is here at hand, 
ther shal we byde to we be thrall. 

Moyses. I shall make way ther with my wand?, 
as god has sayde, to sayf vs art ; 

On ayther syde the see mon) stand, 
to we be gone, right 1 as a waH. 


[Foi. 25, a.] Com on wyth me, leyf none behynde ; 
lo fowndl ye now youre god to pleasse. 
hie pertransientt mare. 

Secnndvis puer. 0, lord? ! this way is heynd ; 
Now weynd we aU at easse. 







He parts the 
Red Sea 
with his 




Towneley Plays. VIII. Pharaoh. 11 

/primus M iles. kyng pharao ! thyse folk ar gone. Pharaoh is 

* J o r j o told of the 

Pharao. Say, ar ther any noyes now % flight of the 

ijxxs J/iles. Thise Ebrews ar gone, lord, eue?Mchon). 

Pharao. how says thou that* 1 

Primus Miles. lord, that 1 tayH is trew. 399 

Pharao. We, out tyte, that 1 they were tayn ; 
That' ryett radly shaH thay rew, 

we shaH not seasse to thay be slayn, 
fTor to the see we shaH thaym sew ; 403 


So charge youre chariotte's swythe, He pursues 

A j * ii i r i them with 

And lersly look ye iolow me. his chariots ; 

ijus Miles. AH redy, lord, we ar furl blyth 
At 1 youre byddyng to be. 407 


Primus ilfiles. lord, at 1 youre byddyng ar we bowne 
Oure bodys boldly for to beyd ; 

we shaH not seasse, hot 1 dyng all downe, 
To aH be dede withouten drede. 411 

Pharao. heyf vp youre herte's vnto mahowne, calling on 

. .,, , . , Mahound. 

lie win be nere vs in oure nede ; He & his 

help ! the raggyd dwyH, we drowne ! drowned. 

Now mon we dy for aH oure dede. 415 

Tunc merget eos mare. 

Moyses. ."Now ar we won from aH oure wo, Moses and 

And sauyd out of the see ; give thanks 

, ,. , . to God for 

lOUyng gyf we god Vnto, their safe 

Go we to land now merely. 419 passage * 


pvimus puer. lofe we may that 1 lord on hyght 1 , 
And euer teH on this merueH ; 

Drownyd he has Kyng pharao myghtt, [Foi. 25, b.] 

louyd be that 1 lord EmanueH. 423 

Moyses. heuen, thou attend, I say, in syghfr, 
And erth my wordys ; here what I teH. 

As rayn or dew on erth doys lyght 
And waters herbys and trees fuH weH, 427 


Towneley Plays. IX. Caesar Augustus. 

Honoured be 
God in 

Gyf louyng to godch/s mageste, 

hys dedys ar done, hys ways ar trew, 
honowred be he in trynyte, 

to hym be honowre and vertew. 

Explicit pharao. 




silence, and 
magnifies his 
own power. 


Primus Consultus. 
Secundus Consultus. 

Incipit Cesar Augustus. 

[40 six-line stanzas aab ccb.] 

{Dramatis, Personae. 

Nuncius. (Lyghtfotc. ) 



Impvtator. (1) 

E styH, beshers, I commawnd yow, 
That no man speke a word here now 

Botf I my self alon ; 
And if ye do, I make a vow, 
Thys brand abowte youre nekys shall bow, 
ffor thy be styH as stori) : 

And looke ye grefe me noght, 
ffor if 1 ye do it 1 shall be boght, 

I swere you by mahowne ; 
I wote weH if ye knew me oght, 
To slo you aH how lytyH I roght 1 , 

Ston styH ye wold syt downe. 

fifor aH is myn that 1 vp standys, 
Castels, towers, townys, and landys. 

To me homage thay bryng ; 
ffor I may bynd and lowse of band, 
Euery thyng bowys vnto my hand, 

I want* none erthly thyng. 




Toumeley Plays. IX. Caesar Augustus. 

I am lord and syr oner aH, 
AH bowys to me, both grete and small, 

As lord of euery land ; 
Is none so comly on to caH, 
Whoso this agane says, fowll shall be fall, 

And therto here my hand. 

ffor I am he that myghty is, 
And hardely all hathennes 

Is redy at my wyH ; 
Both ryche, and poore, more & les, 
At 1 my lykyng for to redres, 

whether I wyH sane or spyH. 


Cesar augnst I am cald', 
A fayrer cors for to behaid, 

Is not 1 of bloode & bone ; 
Ryche ne poore, yong ne old, 
SycH an othere, as I am told, 

In aH thys warld is none. 

Bot oone thyng doys me full mych care, 
I trow my land wyrl sone mysfare 

ffor defawte of counsel! lele ; 
My counsellars so wyse of lare, 
help to comfortr! me of care, 

No wyt from me ye f ele. 

As I am man moost 1 of renowne, 
I shall you gyf youre waryson 

To help me if ye may. 45 

primus Consw^us. To counsel! you, lord, we ar bowne, 
And for no man that 1 lyfys in towne 

wyH we not let, perf ay ; 48 


youre messyngere I reede ye carl, 
ffor any thyng that may befaH, 


He is lord 
over all. 


obeys him. 





He is called 
the fairest 
33 body on 


One thing 
him : he 
needs' loyal 
39 counsel. 


The 1st 
bids him 
send for his 


Towneley Plays. IX. Caesar Augustus. 

His messen- 
ger shall 
proclaim his 
peace over 
all the land. 




[Fol. 26, h.] 

The 2nd 
has heard 
that a virgin 
shall bear a 
child who 
shall lay 
low the 


rages with 
fear and 

Byd hym go hastely, 51 

Thrugh out youre landys ouer ait, 
Amang youre folk, both grete and small 

youre gyrth. & peasse to cry; 54 

ffor to co?wmaunde both, yong & old?, 
None be so hardy ne so bold, 

To hold of none bot you ; 57 

And? who so doth, put them in hold, 
And loke ye payn theym many fold. 

Impeiator. I shall, I make a vowe ; 60 


Of thys counserl weH payde am I, 
It 1 shall be done fuH hastely, 

wyth outen any respytt. 63 

JSecundus Consultas. My Lord abyde awyle, for why ? 
A word to you I wold cleryfy. 

Impeiator. Go on, then, tell me tytt. 66 

Secundus Consultus. AH redy, lord, now permafay, 
Thys haue I herd syn many day, 

ffolk in the contre teH ; 69 

That in this land shuld dwell a may, 
The which saH bere a chylde, thay say, 

That shaH youre force downe feH. 72 

Impeiator . Downe feH 1 dwyH ! what may this be % 
Out 1 , harow, f uH wo is me ! 

I am fuH wyH of reede ! 75 

A, fy, and dewyls ! whens cam he 
That thus shuld reyfe me my pawste 1 

Ere shuld I be his dede. 78 

ffor certys, then were my worshyp lorne, 
If sych a swayn, a snoke home, 

Shuld thus be my suffrane ; 81 

may I wyt when that 1 boy is borne, 
In certan, had the dwyH hit sworne, 

that* gadlyng shuld agane. 84 

Toumeley Plays. IX. Caesar Augustus. 

Primus Consultus. Do way, lord, greyf you not so, 
youre messyngere ye cause furth go 

Aftyr youre eosyn dere, 
To speke witJi you a word* or two, 
The best counseH that 1 lad to slo, 
ffuH soyn he can you lere ; 

ffor a wyse man that knyght men know. 
Impevator. Now I assent vnto thi saw, 
of witt art thou the weH ; 
ffor all the best men of hym blowys ; 
he shall neuer dystroy my lawes, 
were he the dwyH of heH. 

Com lyghtfote, lad, loke thou be yare 
On my message furth to fare, 

go tytt to sir syryn ; 
Say sorow takys me full sare, 
pray hym to comforth me of care, 

As myn awne dere cosyn ; 

,; ( 18 > 

And bot if thou com .agane to nyght, 
look I se the neuer in syght, 

neuer where in my land. 
Nuncius. yis, aexiys, lord, I am fuH lyght, 
or noyn of the day, I dar you hyght, 

to bryng hym by the hand. 

Impemtor. yai, boy, and as" thou) luffys me dere, 
Luke that thou spy, both far and nere, 

Ouer aH in yen" place ; 
If thou here any saghes sere, 
Of any carpyng, far and nere, 

Of that 1 lad* where that 1 thou) gase. 

fundus. AH redy, lord, I am) furl bowne, 
To spyr and spy in euery towne, 





The 1st 
bids the 
take counsel 
with his 


iJO assents, 








and sends 
his messen- 
ger Lyght- 

bidding him 
be back by 

[Fol. 27, a. 

Sig. ff. 1.] 
and keep his 
ears open for 


Townelcy Plays. IX. Caesar Augustus. 




Mahound to 
speed him. 




in the 



and bids him 
come to hold 


returns to 
the Em- 

and an- 
nounces the 
approach of 

After that 1 wykkyd? queyd ; 117 

If I here any rank or rowne, 
I shaH fownd to crak thare crowne, 

Ouer aH, in ylk a stede ; 120 

And therfor, lord, haue now good day. 

Impemtor. Mahowne he wyse the on thi way, 

That* weldys water and wynde; _ 123 

And specyally, here I the pray, 
To spede the as fast as thou may. 

Nuncius. yis, lord, that 1 shaH ye fynde. 126 

(22) [To Sirinus.] 

Mahowne the saue and' se, sir syryne ! 
Cesar, my lord, and youre cosyn, 

he gvetys you welt by me. 129 

Sirinus. Thou art 1 welcom) to me and myn) ; 
Com nere and teH me tjthsmdys thyn), 

Tyte, what 1 thay may be. 132 

Nuncius. My lord prays you, as ye luf hym dere, 
To com to hym, if youre wyll were, 

To speke with hym) awhyle. 135 

Sirinus. Go grete hym weH, thou messyngere, 
say hym I com, and that* right nere, 

Behynd? the not a myle. 138 

Nuncius. AH redy, lord, at 1 youre byddyng. [To Cesar.] 
Mahowne the menske, my lord kyng, 

And save the by see and sand. 141 

Impevator. Welcom), bewshere, say what 1 tythyng, 
Do teH me tyte, for any thyng, 

"What* herd thou in my land 1 144 

Nuncius. I herd 1 no thyng, lord, bot goode ; 
Syr syryn, that 1 1 after yode, 

he wyH be here this nyght. 147 

Impemtor. I thank the by mahownes bloode ; 
Thise tythyngi/s mekyH amend?/s my mode ; 

Go rest, thou) worthy wyght. 150 

Towneley Plays. IX. Caesar Augustus. 


Sirinus. Mahowne so semely on) to call, 
he saue the, lord of lorcU's aH, 

Syttyng w^t7*, thi meneye. 
Impexatov. Welcom, sir syrynne, to this haH, 
Besyde my self here sytt thou shaH, 
Com) vp belyf to me. 

Sirinus. yis, lord, I am at youre talent 1 . 
ImperatoT. Wherfor, sir, I after the sent, 
I shall the say f uH right 1 ; 
And therfor take to me intent, 
I am in poynt for to be shent 1 . 

Sirinus. how so, for mahownes myght ? 

ImpemtoT. syr, I am done to vnderstand, 
That a qweyn here, in this land, 

shall bere a chyld? I wene, 
That shaH be crowned kyng lyfand, 
And aH shaH bow vnto his hand ; 

Thise tythyngys doth me teyne. 

he shaH commaunde both ying and old, 
None be so hardy ne so bold 

To gyf seruyce to me ; 
Then wold? my hart be cold 
If sich a beggere shold 

My kyngdom) thus reyf me ; 

And therfor, sir, I wold the pray, 
Thy best counsel! thou wold me say, 

To do what I am) best ; 
ffor securly, if that I may, 
If he be f onden I shaH hym slay, 

Aythere by eest 1 or west 1 . 

Syrinus. Now wote ye, lord, what that I reede ; 
I counsel! you, as ete I brede, 

Sirinus and 
the Emperor 
greet each 







No one will 
then give 
service to 
•j rr -1 himself. 




The Em- 
peror tells 
Sirinus of 
his danger ; 
[Fol. 27, b.] 

how a quean 
shall bear a 
child who 
shall become 

He asks 
counsel from 


Towneley Plays. IX. Caesar Augustus. 

Sirinus bids 
the Emperor 
seek out the 
hoy & kill 

and com- 
mand every 
man to 
come to 
him, bring- 
ing a head- 

on the third 
day. Thus 
they will 
all pay him 

The Em- 
peror agrees, 
& rewards 

He sends 
out his 

[Fol. 28, a. 

Sig. ff. 2.] 
to command 
the folk to 
own none 
but him as 
their lord. 

what 1 best therof may be ; 
Gar serehe youre land in every stede, 
And byd that boy be done to dede, 

who the fyrst 1 may hym see ; 

And also I rede that 1 ye gar cry, 
To fleme wyth all that 1 belamy, 

That 1 shuld be kyng with crowne ; 
Byd ych man com to you holly, 
And bryng to you a heede penny, 

That 1 dwellys in to were or towne ; 
That 1 this be done by the thyrde day, 
Then may none of his imyndys say, 

Eot 1 he has mayde homage. 
If ye do thus, sir, pmnafay, 
youre worship shall ye wyn for ay, 

If thay make you trowage. 

Imperatov. I thank you, sir, as myght 1 I the, 
ffor thyse tjthjngys that 1 thou tellys me, 

Thy counsel! shaH avayH ; 
lord and syre of this cowntre, 
wythouten ende here make I the, 
ffor thy good counsel! ; 
My messyngere, loke thou be bowne, 
And weynd belyf from towne to towne, 

And be my nobyH swane ; 
I pray the, as thou luff?/s mahowne, 
And also for thy waryson, 

That 1 thou com tytt 1 agane. 

Coramaunde the folk holly ichon, 
Byche ne poore forgett thou none, 

To hold' holly on me, 
And lowtt 1 me as thare lord alone ; 
And who wyH not 1 thay shaH be slone, 

This brand thare bayH shal be. 













Towneley Plays. IX. Caesar Augustus. 85 

Therfor thou byd both old and ying, Old and 

. young must 

That icn man know me for his kyng, bring their 

ffor drede that I thaym spyll, 219 do homage. 

That 1 1 am lord, and in tokynyng, 

Byd ich man a penny bryng, 

And make homage me tyH. 222 

To my statutes who wyH not stand, SthS^Sa 

ffasf for to ne outt of my land, Sustflee 

Byd thaym, wMouten lyte ; 225 ^ his 
Now by mahowne, god aH weldand, He promises 

J ' ° ' the messen- 

Thou shaH be mayde knyght with my hand, gerknight- 

And therfor hye the tyte. 228 


Nuncius. AH redy, lord, it 1 shaH be done ; ger says he 

Bot 1 1 wote weH I com) not sone, back soon, 

And therfor be not* wroth ; 231 

I swere you, sir, by son and moyne, 
I com) not 1 here by fore eft 1 none, 

wheder ye be leyfe or loth ; 234 

Bot 1 hafe good day, now wyH I weynd, 
ffor longer here may I not 1 leynd, 

Bot 1 grathe me furth my gate. 237 The Em _ 

Impeiator. Mahowne that 1 is curtes and heynd, Sound 3 

he bryng thi Iornay weH to eynd, s P eed him - 

And wysh the that 1 aH wate. 240 

Explicit Cesar Augustus. 

and starts 

86 Toivneley Plays. X. The Annunciation. 

Incipit Annunciacio. 

[38 couplets aa ; 49 \ six-line stanzas aab ccb.] 

[Dramatis Personae. 

Deus. Gabriel. Maria. Joseph. Angehcs.] 


God recalls Deus. Sythen I haue mayde all thyng of noght, 
of Adam and And Adam with my hand^s hath, wroght, 

Lyke to myn ymage, att my devyse, 

And gyffen hym Ioy in paradyse, 4 

To won therin, as that I wend, 

To that he dyd that 1 I defend ; 
[Foi. 28, b.] Then I hym) put out of that 1 place, 

Bot 1 yit, I myn), I hight hym grace ■ 8 

OyH of mercy I can hym) heyt, 
The time is And tyme also his bayU to beytt. 
redeem him ffor he has boght 1 his syn futt sore, 
pain, Thise f yfe 1 thowsand yeris and more, 1 2 

ffyrst 1 in erthe and sythen) in heH ; 

Bot 1 long therin shall he not dwell. 

Outt 1 of payn he shaH be boght 1 , 

I wyU not tyne that I haue wroght. 16 

I wyH make redempcyon, 

As I hyght for my person, 

AH wyth reson and with right, 

Both thrugh mercy and thrugh myght 1 . 20 

he shall not, therfor, ay be spylft, 
for Adam ffor he was Avrangwysly begylt 1 ; 

was beguiled , in , p 

by the Ser- he snarl out oi preson pas, 

pent & Eve. |f or t hat« he begyled was 24 

Thrugh the edder, and his wyfe ; 

Thay gart hym towch the tree of lyfe, 

And ete the frute that I forbed, 

And he was dampned for that dede. 28 

God's Son 

shall take Kyghtwysnes wyrr we make ; 
manhood. I wytt that 1 my son manhede take, 

1 MS. v. 

Towneley Plays. X. The Annunciation. 


ffor reson wyH that 1 ther be thre, 

A man, a madyn, and a tre : 32 

Man for man, tre for tre, 

Madyn for madyn ; thus shal it be. 

My son shaH in a madyn light 1 , 

Agans the feynd of heH to fight 1 ; 36 

wythouten wem), os son thrugh glas, 

And she madyn as she was. 

Both god and man shall he be, 

And she mode?* and madyn fre. 40 

To abraham I am in dett 1 

To safe hym and his gett ; 

And I wytt that 1 aH prophecye 

Be fulfyllyd here by me ; 44 

ffor I am lord and lech of heyle, 

My p?'ophetys shaH be f unden leyle ; 

As moyses sayd, and Isay, 

Kyng dauid, and Ieromy, 48 

Abacuk, and danierl, 

Sybyrl sage, that 1 sayde ay weH, 

And myne othere prophets aH, 

As thay haue [said] it 1 shaH befall. 1 52 

Ryse vp, gabrieH, and weynd 

vnto a madyn that 1 is heynd, 

To nazareth in galilee, 

Ther she dwellys in that 1 cytee. 56 

To that 1 vyrgyn and to that 1 spouse, 

To a man of dauid house, 

loseph also he is namyd by, 

And the madyn name mary. 60 

Angett must to mary go, 

ffor the feynd was eue fo ; 

he was foule and layth to syght, 

And thou art angeH fayr and bright ; 64 

And hayls that 1 madyn, my lemman, 

As heyndly as thou can. 

Of my behalf thou shaH hyr grete, 

E haue hyr chosen, that 1 madyn swete, 68 

1 The word "said" has been inserted in the MS. by a later 

There must 
be man for 
man, maid 
for maid, 
tree for tree. 

Abraham & 
his seed 
must be 
saved, and 
all propheey 

God bids 
Gabriel go to 
the Virgin 
spouse of 

(a good angel 
to Mary, as a 
bad angel to 


and hail her. 


Towneley Plays. X. The Annunciation. 

God has 
chosen Mary 
to conceive 
his darling. 

[Fol. 29, a. 

Gabriel hails 
Mary, queen 
of virgins. 

The Lord of 
heaven is 
with her. 

She shall 
conceive a 
child of 

He shall he 
called Jesus. 

She shaH conceyf my derlyng, 

Thrugh thy word and hyr heryng. 

In hyr body wyH I lyght, 

That* is to me clenly dyghfr; 72 

She shall of hyr body bere 

God and man wythouten) dere. 

She shaH be blyssyd wythouten ende ; 

Grayth the gabrieH, and weynd. 76 

(2) [Gabriel goes to Mary.] 
Gdbriell. hayH, mary, gracyouse ! 
hayH. madyn and godz's spouse ! 

Ynto the I lowte ; 79 

Of aH vyrgyns thou art 1 qwene, 
That euer* was, or shaH be seyn, 

wythouten dowte. 82 


hayri, mary, and weH thou be ! 
My lord of heuen is wyth the, 

wythouten end ; 85 

hayri, woman most of mede! 
Goodly lady, haue thou no drede, 

That* I commend ; 88 

ffor thou has fonden aH thyn oone, 
The grace of god, that 1 was out gone, 

ffor adam plyght. 91 

This is the grace that the betydys, 
Thou shaH conceyue within thi sydys 

A chyld of myght. 94 

"When he is comen, that thi son, 
he shaH take cyrcu??isycyon, 

Call hym ihesum. 97 

MightfuH man shaH be he that*, 
And godys son shaH he hat, 

By his day com. 100 

My lord also shaH gyf hym tyH 
hys fader sete, dauid, at wyH, 

Towneley Plays. X. The Annunciation. 


Therin to sytt : 
he shall be kyng in Iacob kyn, 
hys kyngdom shall neuer blyn, 

lady, weH thou wytt. 


Maria. What 1 is thi name 1 
Gabriel. gabrieH ; 

go&ys strengthe and his angeH, 
That comys to the. 
Maria, fferly gretyng thou me gretys ; 
A child to bere thou me hetys, 
how shuld' if be 1 


I cam neuer by man's syde, 

Bot has avowed my madynhede. 

ffrom fleshly gett. 
Therfor I wote not how 
That this be brokyn, as a vow 

That* I haue hett ; 


Neuer the les, weH I wote, 

To wyrk thi word and hold? thi hote 

MightfuH god is ; 
Bot 1 I ne wote of what manere, 
Therfor I pray the, messyngere, 

That thou me wysh. 

GabrieR. lady, this is the preuate ; 
The holy gost shall light 1 in the, 

And his vertue, 
he shaH vmshade and fulfyH 
That 1 thi madynhede shall neuer spyH, 

Bot 1 ay be new. 


The child that 1 thou shaH bere, madame, 
ShaH godys son be callid by name ; 

And se, mary, 
Elesabeth, thi Cosyn, that* is cald? geld?, 
She has conceyffied a son in elde, 

Of zacary ; 

103 He shall be 
King in 












Mary asks 



How can all 
this be? 

She is a 



But God is 
mighty to 

Gabriel says 
the Holy 
Ghost shall, 
light in her. 

[Fol. 29, b.] 

The child 
she shall 
bear shall be 
God's Son. 
Her cousin 
also has 
a son. 


Towneley Plays. X. The Annunciation. 

Nothing is 
with God. 

Mary praises 
God, & 
believes the 

takes leave 
of Mary. 

marvels at 
the con- 
dition in 
which he 
finds his 

He bemoans 
himself that 
ever he 
married one 
so young. 


And this is, who wyH late, 

The sexfr moneth" of hyr conceytate, 

That 1 geld? is cald. 139 

No word, lady, that 1 1 the bryng, 
Is vnmyghtfuil to heuen kyng, 

Botf aH shaft hald. 142 

Maria. I lofe my lord all weldand, 
I am his madyn at 1 his hand, 

And in his wold* ; 145 

I trow bodword that 1 thou me bryng, 
Ee done to me in aH thyng, 

As thou has told*. 148 


Gabriel. Mary, madyn heynd, 
me behovys to weynd, 

my leyf at 1 the I take. 151 

Maria. Har to my freynd, 
Who the can send, 

ffor mankynde sake. 154 

[Gabriel retires ; Joseph advances.'] 
Iosepfc.. AH-myghty god, what may this be ! 
Of mary my wyfe meruels me, 

Alas, what has she wroghtt? 157 

A, hyr body is grete and she with childe ! 
ffor me was she neuer fylyd, 

Therfor myin is if noght. 160 

I irke full sore with my lyfe, 
That* euer I wed so yong a wyfe, 

That 1 bargan may I ban ; 163 

To me it was a carefuH dede, 
I myght weH wyt 1 that yowthede 

wold haue lykyng of man. 166 

I am old, sothly to say, 
passed? I am aH: preuay play, 

Towneley Plays. X. The Annunciation. 


The gams fro me ar gane. 
It 1 is iH cowpled of youth and elde ; 
I wote weH, for I am vnwelde, 

som othere has she tane. 
she is with chyld, I wote neuer how, 
JSTow, who wold any woman trow 1 

Cert?/s, no man that can any goode ; 
I wote not 1 in the warld? what* I shuld? do, 
Bot 1 now then wytt I weynd hyr to, 

And wytt 1 who owe that foode. 
hayH, mary, and weli ye be ! 
why, hot woman, what 1 chere with the 1 

Maria. The better, sir, for you. 
Iosepu. So wold? I, woman, that 1 ye wore ; 
Bot 1 certys, mary, I rew fuH sore 

It 1 stand?/s so with the now. 


Bot 1 of a thyng frayn the I shall, 
who owe this child thou gose with aH % 

Maria. Syr, ye, and god of heuen). 
Ioseph. Myne, mary 1 do way thi dyn ; 
That 1 1 shuld* oght 1 haue parte therin 

Thou ne&ys it 1 not to neuen ; 

wherto neuyns thou me therto ? 
I had neuer with the to do, 

how shuld it 1 then be myne 1 
whos is that 1 chyld', so god the spede 1 

Maria. Syr, godys and yowrs, with outen drede. 
Ioseph. That 1 word had thou to tyne, 
ffor it is right 1 fuH far me fro, 
And I forthynk?/s thou has done so 

Thise iH dedys bedene ; 
And if thou speke thi self to spyH, 
It 1 is fuH sore agans my wyH, 

If bette?* myght 1 haue bene. 


It is ill to 
wed youth 
with age. 



to go to 

, _ Q Mary & 

l/o question her. 

He greets 







ff. 4.] 

whose is 
the child? 
She replies 
his & the 
God of 
denies any 
pnrt therein. 

Mary repeats 
-i Q£ it is God's 
iy0 &his. 



Joseph has 

still mis- 


Mary denies 
of any other 

Joseph does 
not blame 
her ; it is but 
the way of 

Toivneley Plays. X. The Annunciation. 

Maria. Aft godys wyH, Ioseph, must 1 if be, 
ffor certanly bot 1 god and ye 

I know none othere man) ; 205 

ffor fleshly was I neuer fylyd. 

Ioseph. how shuld thou thus then be with chyld 1 

Excuse the weH thou can ; 208 

I blame the not 1 , so god me saue, 
woman maners if that 1 thou haue, 

Bot 1 ceitys I say the this, 
weH wote thou, and so do I, 
Thi body fames the openly, 

That 1 thou has done amys. 

Maria, yee, god he knowys aH my doyng. 
Ioseph. we ! now, this is a wonder thyng, 
I can noght 1 say therto ; 
Bot 1 in my hart 1 1 haue greatt care, 
And ay the longer mare and mare ; 
ffor doyH what 1 shall I do 1 

Godys and myn she says it 1 is ; 
I wyrl not 1 fader it 1 , she says amys ; 

ffor shame yit 1 shuld she let, 
To excuse hir velany by me ; 
with hir I thynk no longer be, 

I rew that 1 euer we met. 

He describes And how we met 1 ye shall wyt sone ; 
Men vse yong chyldren for to done 

He knows 
not what to 

He will not 
father the 
child, & 
thinks of 
leaving his 







of their 

In temple for to lere ; 
Soo dyd thay hir, to she wex more 
Then othere madyns wyse of lore ; 

then byshopes sayd to hir, 

" Mary, the behowfys to take 
Som yong man to be thi make, 



Towneley Plays. X. The Annunciation. 


As thou seys other hane, 
In the temple which thou wyH neuen) ; " 
And she sayd, none, hot god of heuen, 

To hym she had hir tane ; 
She wold none othere for any sagh ; 
Thay sayd she must, it 1 was the lagh, 

She was of age thertrrh 
To the temple thay somond old and ying, 
AH of Iuda ofspryng, 

The law for to fulfill. 

Thay gaf ich man a white wand, 
And bad vs here them in oure hande, 

To offre with good intent ; 
Thay offerd thare yendys vp in that 1 tyde, 
ffor I was old* I stode be syde, 

I wyst 1 not what thay nient 1 : 
Thay lakyd oone, thay sayde in hy, 
AH had offerd, thay sayd, bot I, 

ffor I ay wztMrogh me. 
ffurth with my wande thay mayd me com, 
In my hand it floryshed with blome ; 

Then sayde thay aH to me, 
" If thou be old? merueH not 1 the, 
if or god of heuen thus ordans he, 

Thi wand shewys openly ; 
It florishes so, wMouten) nay, 
That the behovys wed mary the may ; " 

A sory man then was I ; 

I was fuR sory in my thoght 1 , 
I sayde for old I myght 1 noght 

hir haue neuer the wheder ; 
I was vnlykely to hir so yong, 
Thay sayde ther helpyd none excusyng, 

And wed vs thus togeder. 






Mary, when 
pressed to 
take a young 
man for her 
herself to 

[Fol. 30, h.] 
She was 
urged again, 
& old & 
young were 
to the 

Each man 
was given a 
white wand 
& told to 
247 offer it. 
stood aside 
& made no 
because he 
was old. 







He was 
made to 
come forth, 
& his wand 
blossomed in 
his hand. 

This showed 
clearly that 
he was to 
marry Mary. 

He was sad, 
but no ex- 
cuses helped 
him, & 
they were 


Tovmeley Plays. X. The Annunciation. 

After the 
wedding the 
silks ; Mary- 

Joseph went 
into the 
country to 

After nine 
months he 
returns & 
finds her 
with child. 
The women 
say an angel 
visited her, 

giving this 
excuse for 
her folly. 

[Fol. 31, a.] 

It must have 
been some 
earthly man. 

when I aH thus had wed hir thare, 
we and my madyns home can fare, 

That 1 kjngys doghters were ; 
AH wroght thay sylk to fynd them on, 
Marie wroght 1 purpyti, the oder none 

bot 1 othere colers sere. 

I left 1 thaym in good peasse wenyd I, 
Into the contre I went 1 on hy, 

My craft 1 to vse with mayn ; 
To gett 1 oure lyfyng I must 1 nede, 
On marie I prayd them take good hede, 

To that I cam agane. 

Neyn J monethes was I fro that my Id ; 
when I cam home she was with chyld • 

Alas, I sayd, for shame ! 
I askyd ther women who that had done, 
And thay me sayde an angeH sone, 

syn that I went from) hame : 
An angeH spake with that wyght 1 , 
And no man els, bi day nor nyght, 

" sir, therof be ye bold?." 
Thay excusyd hir thus sothly, 
To make hir clene of hir foly, 

And babyshed? me that was old. 
Shuld? an angeH this dede haue wroght 1 
Sich excusyng helpys noght, 

ffor no craft that thay can ; 
A heuenly thyng, for sothe, is he, 
And she is erthly ; this may not be, 

It 1 is som othere man. 

Cert^, I forthynk sore of hir dede, 
Bot it is long of yowth-hede, 

1 MS. ix. 











Towneley Plays. X. The Annunciation. 


AH sicll wanton playes ; 
ffor yong women wyH nech/s play them) 
with yong men, if old? forsake them, 

Thus it is sene always. 
Bot 1 marie and I playd neuer so sam, 
Neuer togeder we vsid that gam, 

I cam hir neuer so nere ; 1 
she is as clene as crista]} clyfe 
ffor me, and shalbe whyls I lyf, 

The law wyH it be so. 
And then am I cause of hir dede, 
ffor thi then can I now no rede, 

Alas, what 1 1 am wo ! 

And sothly, if it so befaH:, 
Godys son that* she be w^t7i arl, 

If sich grace myght betyde, 
I wote well that I am not he, 
which that 1 is worthi to be 

That 1 blyssed? body besyde, 


Nor yit 1 to be in company ; 
To wyldernes I wiH for thi 

Enfors me for to fare ; 
And neue?* longer w^t7i hir dele, 
Bot 1 stylly shall I from hir stele, 

That 1 mete shall we no mare. 
Angelus. Do wa, Ioseph, and mend thy thoght 1 , 
I warne the weH, and weynd thou noght 1 , 

To wyldernes so wylde ; 
Turne home to thi spouse agane, 
look thou deme in hir no trane, 
ffor she was neuer ffylde. 
wyte thou no wyrkyng of Werk?/s wast, 
She hase consauyd the holy gast, 

1 Is half a stanza of the original left out ? 

301 Young 

women will 
needs play 
with young 


But Mary & 
he never 
on 7 together. 

She is clean 
as crystal 
for him, and 
„ ^ ^ shall be so 
310 while he 








If it be God's 
Son she has 
for her child, 
then Joseph 
is not worthy 
to lie beside 

He will steal 
away to the 
so that they 
meet no 

An Angel 
warns him 
to mend his 
thoughts and 
return to his 

96 Towneley Plays. X. The Annunciation. 

Mary is with And she shaH bere god^s son) ; 334 

child of the ' , ..'..-.'* 

Holy Ghost, ftor thy W£t/& hir, in thi degre, 
Meke and buxom) looke thou be, 

And -with hir dwell and won. 337 

Joseph Ioseph. A, lord, I lofe the aH alon, 

praises God 

tor entrust- lhat vowcnes sale that I be oone 

ing him with 

the care of lo tent 1 that 1 chyld so ymg ; 340 

Child. I that* thus haue vngrathly gone, 

And vntruly taken apon 

Mary, that* dere darlyng. 343 

He grieves I rewe f uH sore that 1 1 haue sayde, 

for his sus- 

picions, & And of hir byrdyng hir vpbrade, 

goes to ask ait . 

Mary's And she not gylty is ; 346 

[Foi. 3i, b.'] ffor thy to hir now WyH I weynde, 
And pray hir for to be my freynde, 

And aske hir forgyfnes, 349 

A, mary, wyfe, what 1 chere 1 
Mary asks Maria. The better, sir, that 1 ye ar here ; 

WllGPG ll6 lllS 

teen. Thus long 1 where haue ye lent 1 352 

Ioseph. Ceitys, walkyd aboute, lyke a fon, 
That 1 wrangwysly hase taken apon ; 

I wyst 1 neuer What 1 1 ment ; 355 

Joseph* says Bot 1 1 wote weH, my le??zman fre, 

ll6 llfiS 

sinned I haue trespast 1 to god and the ; 

& g her! and fforgyf me, I the pray. 358 

ness. °she e " Maria. Now aH that euer ye sayde me to, 

frefiy. es m God forgyf you, and I do, 

With aH the myght 1 I may. 361 


He thanks Joseph. Gramercy, mary, thi good wyH 

may be well So kyndly forgyfr/s that 1 I sayde yH, 

a meek wife, When I can the vpbrade ; 364 

have S no S e Bot 1 weH is hym hase sich a fode, 

goo s. ^ meke wyf, Mvithouten goode, 

he may weH hold? hym payde. 367 

Towneley Plays. XI. The Salutation of Elizabeth. 97 

A, what 1 1 am light as lynde ! 
he that 1 may both lowse and bynde, 

And euery mys amend, 
leyn me grace, powere, and myghfr, 
My wyfe and hir swete yong 1 wight 1 

To kepe, to my lyft/s ende. 

Explicit Annunciacio beate Marie. 



Joseph is 
light of 
heart. He 
prays God 
help him 
keep wife 
and child. 


Incipit Saliitaci'o Elezabeth. 

[15 six-line stanzas, aab, ccb.] 

[Dramatis Personae. 

Maria. JElezabeth.] 

Maria. (1) 

~ia M~7 l° r( l of heuen, that syttys he, 

Mary salutes 

\\ /■ And aH thyng seys with ee, 


W 1 The safe, Elezabeth. 



X Y IS fflezabetfr. Welcom, mary, blyssed blome, 

Ioyf uH am I of thi com 

To me, from nazareth. 


(2) - 

Maria, how stsmdys it with you, dame, of qwarfrl 

fflezabeifr. weH, my doghter and dere hart*, 

As can for myn elde. 


Maria. To speke with you me thoght 1 f uH lang, 

She has long 

ffor ye with childe in elde gang, 

desired to 
speak with 

And ye be cald* geld*. 




Elezabeth. ffuH lang shaH I the better be, 

Elizabeth is 

That I may speke my fyH with the, 

glad to hear 
about her 

My dere kyns Woman ; 



To wytt how thi freynd^/s fare, 

In thi countre where thay ar, 

Therof teH me thou can, 




98 Towneley Plays. XL The Salutation of Elizabeth. 

[Fol. 32, a.] 

asks after 
father and 

Mary says 
they are both 
well, & 
thanks her. 

hails Mary 
as the 
mother of 
her Lord. 

The child in 
her own 
body makes 

She com- 
mends Mary 
for believing 
the word of 
the Lord. 


And how thou farys, my dexe derlyng. 

Maria, WeH, dame, gramercy youre askyng, 

ffor good I wote ye spyr. 21 

Elezabefc. And Ioachym, thy fader, at hame, 
And anna, my nese, and thi dame, 

how standys it 1 vtith hym and hir 1 24 

Maria. Dame, yift ar thay both on lyfe, 

Both ioachym and anna his wyfe. 

Elezabetla.. Els were my hart 1 fuH sore. 27 

Maria. Dame, god that aH may, 
yeld? you that 1 ye say, 

And* blys you therfore. 30 


Elezabefil. Blyssed be thou of all women, 
And the fruyte that 1 1 weH ken, 

"WWiin the wombe of the ; 33 

And this tyme may I blys, 
That 1 my loidys moder is 

Comen thus vnto me. 36 

ffor syn that 1 tyme fuH well I wote, 
The stevyn of angeH voce it 1 smote, 

And rang now in myn ere ; 39 

A selcouth thyng is me betyde, 
The chyld makys Ioy, as any byrd, 1 

That 1 1 in body here. 42 

And als, mary, blyssed be thou, 
That 1 stedfastly wold? trow, 

The woidys of oure heven kyng ; 45 

Therfor aH thyng now shaH be kend, 
That 1 vnto the were sayd or send, 

By the angeH gretyng. 48 

Maria. Magnificat 1 arcima mea dominum ; 

My sauH luft/s my lord abuf, 

And my gost 1 glades "with luf, 

1 The rhyme requires bryd. 

Towneley Plays. XI. The Salutation of Elizabeth. 99 

In god, that 1 is my hele ; 
ffor he has bene sene agane, 
The buxumnes of his bane, 

And kept 1 me madyn lele. 
Lo, therof what me shall betyde — 
AH nacyons on euery syde, 

Blyssyd shall me caH ; 
ffor he that is fuH of myght, 
MekyH tliyng to me has dyght 1 , 

his name be blyssed ouer aH ; 


And his nwcy is also 

ffrom kynde to kynde, tyH aH tho 

That 1 ar hym dredand. 
Myght* in his amies he wroght 1 , 
And dystroed in his thoght 1 , 

Prowde men and hygh berand?. 
Myghty men furth of sete he dyd, 
And he hyghtynd in that 1 stede 

The meke men of hart ; 
The hungre With aH good he fyld, 
And left the rich outt shyld, 

Thaym to Vn quart 1 . 


Israeli has vnder law, 
his awne son in his awe, 

By menys of his nie^cy ; 
As he told before by name, 
To oure fader, abraham, 

And seyd of his body. 

Elezabeth, myn awnt dere, 
My lefe I take at 1 you here, 
ffor I dwell now fuH lang. 
Elezabeth. wyH thou now go, godys fere 1 
Com kys me, doghter, with good chere, 
or thou hens gang ; 

5 1 Mary praises 
God in the 


All nations 
shall call her 











God's mercy 
is on them 
that dread 

He hath 
upraised the 

[Fol. 32, b.] 

He fulfils 
His promise 
to Abraham. 

Mary takes 
leave of 


Towneley Plays. XII. Shepherds' Play, I. 

bids Mary 
farewell h 
sends greet- 
ing to her 


ffareweR now, thou frely foode ! 
I pray the be of comforts, goode, 

ffor thou art 1 full of grace ; 
Grete weH aH oure kyn of bloode ; 
That lord, that the with grace infude, 

he saue aH in this place. 



Explicit Salutacio Elezdbeth. 

The 1st 
envies the 
dead who are 
now exempt 

[Fol. 33, a.] 

In this world 
comes after 

Incipit Pagina pastor^/i. 

[54 nine-line stanzas, aaaab cccb, and 1 seven-line {no. 15), aab cccb. 
The aaaa lines have central rymes markt by bars.] 

[Dramatis Personae. 

Primus Pastor. 
Secundus Pastor. 
Tercius Pastor. 

Idk Garcio. 


Pnmus Pastor. (1) 

LOrd, what 1 thay ar weyH / that hens ar past 1 ! 
ffor thay noght 1 feytl / theym to downe cast, 
here is mekyH vnceyH / and long has it 1 last 1 , 
Now in hart 1 , now in heyH / now in weytt 1 , now 
in blast 1 , 
Now in care, 5 

Now in comforth agane, 
Now is fayre, now is rane, 
Now in hart 1 fuH fane, 

And after fuH sare. 9 


Thus this Warld', as I say / farys on ylk syde, 
ffor after oure play / com sorows vnryde ; 
ffor he that 1 most 1 may / When he syttys in pryde, 
When it 1 corny s on assay / is kesten downe wyde, 

Toiuneley Plays. XII Shepherds Play, I. 


This is seyn ; 
When ryches is he, 
Then comys pouerte, 
hors-man Iak cope 

"Walkys then), I weyn. 


I thank if god / hark ye what I mene, 
ffor euen or for od / I haue mekyH tene ; 
As heuy as a sod / I grete with myn eene, 
When I nap on my cod / for care that 1 has bene, 

And sorow. 
AH my shepe ar gone, 
I am not 1 left oone, 
The rott has theym slone ; 

Now beg I and borow. 

My hand?/s may I wryng / and niowrnyng make, 
Bot 1 if good will spryng / the countre forsake ; 
ffermes thyk ar comyng / my purs is hot 1 wake, 
I haue nerehand nothyng 1 / to pay nor to take ; 

I may syng* 
With purs penneles, 
That* mak?/s this heuynes, 
Wo is me this dystres ! 

And has no helpyng. 


Thus sett 1 1 my mynde / truly to neuen), 
By my wytt to fynde / to cast 1 the warld in seuen) ; 
My shepe haue I tynde / by the moren fuH euen) ; 
Now if hap wiH grynde / god from his heuen) 

Send grace, 
To the fare wiH I me, 
To by shepe, perde, 
And yifr may I multyple, 

ffor aH this hard case. 

Secxmdus pastor. Benste, benste 1 / be vs emang, 
And saue aH that 1 1 se / here in this thrang, 
1 Benedicite, benedicite ! 









After riches 
poverty, & 
Jack Cope 
must walk 
instead of 

He himself 
has much 

His sheep 
are slain 
with the rot 
& he must 

Rents are 
due & his 
purse is 

He has lost 
his sheep & 
must go to 
the fair to 
buy more. 


fellows are 
as proud as 
lords, with a 
fine head of 
hair and 

It is hard to 
tell lad from 

They will 
have what 
they want. 

May God 
mend them 
and end 

He calls out 
Gyb," to 
the 1st 

Towneley Plays. XII. Shepherds' Play, I 

he saue you and me / ouertwhart 1 and endlang, 
That 1 hang on a tre / I say you no wrang ; 

Cryst saue vs 
ffrom arl myschefys, 
ffrom robers and thefys, 
ffrom those mens grefys, 

That 1 oft 1 ar agans vs. ^ 

Both bosters and bragers / god kepe vs fro, 
That with thare long dagers / dos mekyH wo ; 
ffrom arl byri hagers / with colkuyf?/s that go ; 
Sich wryers and wragers / gose to and fro 

ffor to crak. 
"Who so says hyni agane, 
were better be slane ; 
Both ploghe and wane 

Amendys wiH not make. 


he wiR make if as prowde / a lord as he were, 
With a hede lyke a clowde / ffelterd his here ; 
he spekys on lowde / with a grym bere, 
I wold not haue trowde / so galy in gere 

As he glydys. 
I wote not 1 the better, 
Nor wheder is gretter, 
The lad or the master, 

So stowtly he strydys. 


If he hask me oght / that 1 he wold to his pay, 
ffutt dere bese it 1 boght / if I say nay ; 
Bot 1 god that 1 arl wroght 1 / to the now I say, 
help that 1 thay were broght / to a bette?' way 

ffor thare sawlys ; 
And send theym good mendyng 
With a short 1 endyng, 
And with the to be lendyng 

When that 1 thou callys. 

how. gyb, goode morne / wheder goys thou ? 
Thou goys ouer the come / gyb, I say, how I 








Towneley Plays. XII. Shepherds' Play, I. 103 

primus pastor. Who is that 1 John home / I make god The 1st 

■*■ shepherd 

a VOWe ! greets the 

t • t / i -i e xi n 2nd as John 

1 say not* in skorne / thorn, how iarys thou t Home. 

SecundvLS pastor, hay, ha ! 86 

Ar ye in this towne % 
primus pastor, yey, by my crowne. 
ijus pastor. I thoght by youre gowne 

This was youre aray. 90 


primus pastor. I am euer elyke / wote I neuer what 1 Gyb is faring 

x . ' as badly as 

it 1 gars, any shep- 

Is none in this ryke / a shepard? farys wars. kingdom. 

ijus pastor, poore men ar in the dyke / and oft tyme Home says 

poor men 
mars, are in the 

The warld is slyke / also helpars 

Is none here. 95 

primus pastor. It is sayde fuH ryf e, G ,y b quotes 

J- J- j j i the proverb, 

" a man may not 1 wyfe "Aman 

may not 

And also thryf e, marry & 

J ' thrive all in 

And all in a yere." 99 a year." 

£/us pastor, ffyrst must vs crepe / and sythen go. We must 

primus pastor. I go to by shepe. / we go. 

Secimdus [pastor]. nay, not so ; Gyb says he 

What, dreme ye or slepe ? / where shuld thay go 1 [Foi. 34, a.] buyshfep, 
here shaH thou none kepe. / quarrel as . 

primus pastor. A, good sir, ho ! shaTSd* 16 

Who am I? 104 them ' 

I wyH pasture my fe 
where so euer lyk?/s me, 
here shaH thou theym se. 

ijus pastor. Not 1 so hardy ! 108 

Not 1 oone shepe tayH / shaH thou bryng hedyr. 

primus pastor. I shaH bryng, no faytt / A himdreth 

ijus pastor. What 1 , art 1 thou in ayH / longys thou oght 1 Gyb 

primus paste*. Thay shaH go, saunce fayH / go how, t5£t&* 
beHweder! »-£»■ 


Towneley Plays. XII. Shepherds' Play, I 

The two 
call out con- 
orders to the 


to break 

The 3rd 
arrives & 
asks what is 
Gyb says 
Home won't 
let him drive 
his sheep 
this way. 

asks where 
the sheep 
are, and 
chaffs him. 

ijws, pastor. I say, tyr ! 113 

^ri??zus pastor. I say, tyr, now agane ! 
I say skyp ouer the plane. 

ijus pastor, wold? thou neuer so fane, 

Tup, I say, whyr ! 117 

primus pastor. What 1 , wyH thou not 1 yit / I say, let the 
shepe go 1 

JSecundus pastor, abyde yit. / 
primus pastor. Will thou hot 1 so 1 

knafe, hens I byd flytt / as good that 1 thou do, 
Or I shall the hytt / on thi pate, lo, 

shall thou reyH ; 122 

I say, gyf the shepe space. 

ijus pastor. Syr, a letter of youre grace, 
here comys slaw-pase 

ffro the mylii whele. 126 

Tercius pastor. What a do, what 1 a do / is this you 
betweyn 1 
A good day, thou, and thou. / 
jpriraus pastor. hark what I meyn 

You to say: 129 

I was bowne to by store, 
drofe my shepe me before, 
he says not 1 oone hore 

shall pas by this way ; 133 

Bot and he were wood / this way shall thay go. 

iijus pastor, yey, bot 1 teH me, good / where ar youre 

shepe, lo*? 
ijus pastor. Now, sir, by my hode / yit 1 se I no mo, 
Not 1 syn I here stode. / 

iijus pastor. god gyf you wo 

and sorow ! 138 

ye fysh before the nett, 
And stryfe on this bett, 
sich folys neuer I mett 

Evyn or at 1 morow. 142 

Towneley Plays. XII. Shepherds Play, I. 


It 1 is wonder to wyt / where wytt 1 shuld? be fownde ; 
here ar old? knafys yit / standys on this grownde, 
these wold? by thare wytt / make a shyp be drownde ; 
he were weft qwytt / had sold* for a pownde 

sich two. 147 

thay fyght 1 and thay flyte 
ffor that* at 1 comys not tyte ; 
It is far to byd hyte 

To an eg or it* go. 151 

Tytter want 1 ye sowH / then sorow I pray ; 
Ye brayde of mowH / that 1 went 1 by the way — 
Many shepe can she poll / bot 1 oone had she ay — ■ 
Bot 1 she happynyd fuH fowll / hyr pycher, I say, 

Was broken) ; 156 

"ho, god," she sayde, 
bot 1 oone shepe yit she hade, 
The my Ik pycher was layde, 

The skarthis was the tokyn. 160 

Bot 1 syn ye ar bare / of wysdom to knawe, 1 iMS.knowe. 

Take hede how I fare / and lere at 1 my la we ; 
ye nede not 1 to care / if ye f olow my sawe ; 
hold? ye my mare / this sek thou thrawe 

On my bak, 165 

Whylst 1 1, with my hand, 
lawse the sek band ; 
Com nar and by stand 

Both gyg and Iak ; 169 

Is not 1 aH shakyn owte / and no meyrl is therin 1 
pnrmis pastor, yey, that 1 is no dowte. / 
Tem'us pastor. so is youre wyttys thyn. 

And ye look well abowte / nawther more nor myn, 
So gose youre wjttys owte / evyn as It com In : 

Geder vp 174 

And seke it 1 agane. 

?)'us pastox. May we not be fane ! 
he has told vs fuH plane 

Wysdom to sup. 178 

Here are 
two old 
knaves not 
worth a 

fighting for 

[Fol. 34, b.] 
They are 
like MoU 
who, while 
counting up 
many sheep, 
broke her 
pitcher, and 
had but one 
sheep all the 

He makes 
them hold 
his mare 
while he 
shakes his 
sack empty, 

and then 
compares it 
to their thin 


Toivneley Plays. XII. Shepherds' Play, I 

Jack the boy- 
comes in. 
Save the 
men of 
Gotham he 
thinks they 
hear the hell 
of all fools 
from heaven 
unto hell. 

Gyh asks 
after his 
sheep and 
then pro- 
poses to sit 
down & 

Home asks, 
"What is 
drink with- 
out meat?" 

and wants 

[Fol. 35, a. 
Sig. G. 1.] 

Ialt garcio. Now god gyf you care / foles all sam ; 
Sagn I neuer none so fare / bot 1 the foles of gotham. 
Wo is hir that 1 yow bare / youre syre and youre dam, 
bad she broghfr furtn" an hare / a shepe, or a lam, 

had bene weU. 
Of aH the foles I can tell, 
flrom heuen) vnto heH, 
ye thre bere the beH ; 

God gyf yon vnceyH. 




primus, fjastor. how pastures oure fee / say me, good pen. 
Garcio. Thay ar gryssed to the kne. / 
ijus pastor. fare farl the ! 

Garcio. Amen ! 

If ye wiH ye may se / youre bestes ye ken. 
primus pastor.' Sytt we downe aH thre / and drynk 
shall we then. 
'iijus pastor, yey, torde ! 192 

I am leuer ete ; 

what 1 is drynk wMoute mete 1 
Gett 1 mete, getfr, 

And sett vs a borde, 196 

Then may we go dyne / oure belly s to fyH. 
ijus pastor. Abyde vnto syne. / 
iijus pastor. be god, sir, I nyH ! 

I am worthy the wyne / me thynk it* good skyH ; 
My seruyse I tyne / I fare full yU, 

At 1 youre mangere. 201 

primus pastor. Trus ! go we to mete, 
It 1 is best* that we trete, 
I lystt not* to plete 

To stand in thi dangere ; 205 

Thou has euer bene curst / syn we met togeder. 1 

iijus pastor. Now in fayth, if I durst / ye ar euen my 

1 Note the rymes of 


Towneley Plays. XII Shepherds' Play, I. 1 07 

ijus pastor. Syrs, let vs cryb furst / for oone thyng or 
That 1 thise word/s be purst 1 / and let vs go foder 

Oure mompyns ; 210 Home pro- 

lay furtli of oure store, 
lo, here ! browne of a bore. 
jprimus jpastor. Set 1 mustard afore, 

oure mete now begyns; 214 

brawn , 

here a foote of a cowe / weH sawsed, I wene, 
The pesteH of a sowe / that 1 powderd has bene, 
Two blodyngj's, I trow / A leueryng betwene ; 
Do gladly, syrs, now / my breder bedene, 

With more. 
Both befe, and moton 
Of an ewe that 1 was roton, 
Good mete for a gloton ; 

Ete of this store. 



Gyb, a cow's 
foot, a sow's 
shank, blood 


ijns pastor. I haue here in my mayH / sothen and rost 1 , Home has 

in his bag 
an ox tail, 
a pie, two 
swine's jaws 
& part of a 

Euen of an ox tayH / that 1 wold? not 1 be lost 1 ; 

ha, ha, goderhayH ! / I let for no cost, 

A good py or we fayH / this is good for the frost 1 

In a mornyng ; 
And two swyne gronys, 
Aft a hare bot 1 the lonys, 
we myster no sponys 

here, at 1 oure mangyng. 



Ujxjls pastor, here is to recorde /the leg of a goys, 
with chekyns endorde / pork, partryk, to roys ; 
A tart 1 for a lorde / how thynk ye this doys 1 
A calf lyuer skorde / with the veryose ; 

Good sawse, 
This is a restorete 
To make a good appete. 
primus pastor, yee speke aH by clerge[te], 
I here by your clause ; 



a goose's 
leg, pork, 
tart & calf's 


Towneley Plays. XII. Shepherds' Play, I. 

They drink 
good whole- 
some ale as 
a cure for 
their ills. 
As each 
drinks the 
others chaff 

Cowth ye by youre gramery / reche vs a drynk, 
I shuld be more mery / ye wote What I thynk. 

ijus pastor, haue good ayli of bely / bewar now, I wynk, 
ffior and thou drynk drely / in thy poH wyH it synk. 

primus pastor. A, so; 246 

This is boyte of oure bayR, 1 
good holsom ayH. 

iijus pastor, ye hold* long the skayR, 

Now lettt me go to. 250 

Home bids 
the others 
leave him 


Secundus pastor. I shrew those lyppys / bofr thou leyff 

me som parte, 
prbnus pastor, be god, he bot syppys / begylde thou art; 
[Foi. 35, b.] Behold 1 how he kyppys. / 

Secundus pastor. I shrew you so smart, 

And me on my hyppys / bot 1 if I gart 1 

Abate. 255 

Be thou wyne, be thou ayH, 
bot 1 if my brethe fayrl, 
I shaH sett 1 the on sayR ; 

He will 
drink till 
his breath 

God send the good gayfce. 


Tercius pastor. Be my dam sauH, alyce / If was sadly 

primus pastor. Now, as euer haue I blys / to the 

bothom it is sonken. 
ijxis pastor, yitt a boteR here is. / 
Tercius pastor. that 1 is weR spoken ! 

By my thryft we must kys. / 

Secundus pastor. that 1 had I forgo ten. 2 

Bot 1 hark ! 264 

They sing. Who so can best 1 syng 

Shall haue the begynnyng. 
primus pastor. Now prays at the partyng 

I shaH sett 1 you on warke ; 268 

bottle is 

1 The MS makes 2 lines of this : 1 A so ; 2 This etc. 

2 Note the assonance t and k. 

Towiichy Plays. XII. Shepherds' Play, I. 109 

We haue clone oure parte / and songyn) right weyR, They drink 

again, each 

1 clrynk tor my parte. / still anxious 

, ' . . , . , , ,, for his fair 

ijvis pastor. Abyde, letf cop reyti. share. 

primus pastor. Godys forbof, thou sparf / and thou 

clrynk every deyfct. 
iijus pastor. Thou has dronken a quart / therfor choke 
the the cleyH. 
primus pastor. Thourafys; 273 

And if were for a sogh 
Ther is clrynk enogh. 

iijus pastor. I shrew the hauidys if drogh ! 

ve be both knafys. 277 

primus pastor. Nay ! we knaues aH / thus thynk me best 1 , 
so, sir, shulct ye caR. / 

ijVLS pastor. furth let if rest ; 

we wiH nof braH. / 

primus pastor. then wold I we fest, 
This mete Who shaH / into panyere kest. 

iijus pastor, sjrs, herys ; 282 Gill pro- 

ff or oure sanies lett vs do collect the 

Poore men gyf if to. 
2?rimus pastor. Geder vp, lo, lo ! 

ye hungre begers ffrerys ! 286 

ijus pastor. If clraes nere nyght / trus, go we to resf ; They pre- 
I am euen recly dyghf / I thynk it the best*. sleep! 

iijus pastor, ffor ferde we be fiyghf / a crosse lett vs kest, siow-pace 
Crysf crosse, benedyght / eesf and west", £ S pS. a Bight " 

fTor drede. 291 

Ihesws. 1 onazorus, 
Morcus, andreus, 

God be oure specie ! 295 

(34) [They sleep.} 

Angelas, herkyn, hyrdes, awake ! / gyf louyng ye shaH, The angels 
he is borne for [y]oure 2 sake / lorde perpetual* ; ' awaS? m 

1 MS. inc. 

2 Originally oure, the " y " having been added by a later hand. 

meats for 
the poor. 


A child is 
born at 

[Fol. 36, a. 
Sig. G. 2.] 

what the 
song was. 
He supposes 
it was a 

whistling in 
his ear. 

Home is 
sure it was 
an angel, 
speaking of 
a child. 

Yon star 
betokens it. 

the angel 
bade them 

to worship. 

Towncley Plays. XII Shepherds' Play, I 

he is comen to take / and rawnson you ail, 
youre sorowe to slake / kyng eniperiaH, 

he beliestys ; 300 

That 1 chyld is borne 
At 1 bethelem this morne, 
ye shaH fynde hym beforne 

Betwix two bestys. 304 

Primus Pastor. A, godys dere dominus ! / What was 
that 1 sang 1 ? 
It 1 was wonder curiose / wzt7* small noytys emang ; 
I pray to god saue vs / now in this thrang ; 
I am ferd, by ihesus 1 / somwhaf be wrang ; 

Me thoghtf, 309 

Oone scremyd on lowde ; 
I suppose it was a clowde, 
In myn erys it sowde, 

By hym that 1 me boght ! 313 

Secwndns pastor. ETay, that 1 may not be / I say you 
fHor he spake to vs thre / as he had bene a man ; 
When he lemyd on this lee / my hart* shakyd than, 
An angeH was he / teH you I can, 

No dowte. 318 

he spake of a barne, 
We must seke hym, I you warne, 
That 1 betokyns yond starne, 

That 1 standi yonder owte. 322 

Teictus pastor. It 1 was me?'iieH to se / so bright as it 
I wold haue trowyd, veraly / if had bene thoner flone, 
Lot 1 I sagh with myn ee / as I lenyd to this stone ; 
It 1 was a mery gle / sich hard I neuer none, 

I recorcle. 327 

As he sayde in a skreme, 
Or els that 1 I dreme, 
we shuld go to bedleme, 

To wyrship that 1 lorde. 331 

1 MS. ifcc. 

Towneley Plays. XII. Shepherds' Play, I. Ill 

primus pastor. That 1 same childe is he / that 1 prophet?/s They recall 
of told, ofthI or 

i t i i prophets, 

Shuld make them fre / that 1 adam had sold. 

ijus pastor. Take tent vnto me / this is inrold, 
By the wordy s of Isae / a prynce most 1 bold 

shall he be, 336 

And kyng with crowiie, of a king 

J _ . _ who shall sit 

Sett on dauid trone, on David's 


Sich was neuer none, 

Seyn with oure ee. 340 

urns pastor. Also Isay says / oure faders vs told born of a 

. ' virgin of the 

That a vyrgyn shuld pas / of Iesse, that 1 wold root of Jesse. 

Bryng furth, by grace / a floure so bold ; 
That 1 vyrgyn now has / these woro\ys vphold? 

As ye se ; 345 

Trust 1 it 1 now we may, 
he is borne this day, 
Exiet 1 virga 

De radice iesse. 349 

pihnus pastor. Of hym spake more / SybyK as I weyn, Sybyi & 
And nabugodhonosor / from oure faythe alyene, nezzar spake 

In the fornace where thay wore / thre childre sene, He it was 

The fourt stode before / goo\ys son lyke to bene. with the 

ijus pastor. That fygure 354 children in 

, Tr oc t i the Fire. 

Was gyften by reualacyon [Foh 36> b -, 

That 1 god wold haue a son) ; 
This is a good lesson, 

Ys to consydure. 358 

Tercius pastor. Of hym spake Ieromy / and moyses also, of Him 
"Where he sagh hym by / a bushe burnand, lo ! Jeremiah & 

when he cam to aspy / if it 1 were so, 
Ynbumyd was it 1 truly / at commyng therto, 

A wonder. 363 

primus pastor. That 1 was for to se 
hir holy vyrgynyte, 
That 1 she vnfylyd shuld be, 

Thus can I ponder, 367 


Toivneley Plays. XII. Shepherds' Play, I. 

They marvel 
how a virgin 
may bear a 

and recall 
more pro- 

Gyb quotes 



and is 
chaffed by 
Home on 
his Latin. 
He has 
learnt his 
' Cato.' 


Virgil's text. 

[Fol. 37, a. 
Sig. G. 3.] 

And shuld haue a chyld / sich was neuer sene. 

ijus pastor, pese, man, thou art 1 begyld? / thou shaH se 
hym with eene, 
Of a niadyn so myld / greatt merueH I mene ; 
yee, and she vnfyld / a virgyn clene, 

So soyne. 372 

primus pastor. Nothyng is inpossybyH 
sothly, that 1 god wyH ; 
IV shalbe stabyH 

That 1 god wyH haue done. 376 

ijus iiastor. Abacuc and ely / prophesyde so, 
Elezabeth and zachare / and many other mo, 
And dauid as veraly / is witnes therto, 
Iohn Baptyste sewrly / and daniel also. 

iijus pastor. So sayng, • 381 

he is godys son alon, 
without hym shalbe none, 
his sete and his trone 

ShaH euer be lastyng ; 385 


primus pastoi. VirgiH in his poetre / sayde in his verse, 
Even thus by gramere / as I shall reherse ; 

" lam noua progenies celo demittitur alto, 
lam rediet virgo, redeunt 1 saturnia regna." 

ijus pastor, weme ! tord ! what 1 speke ye / here in myn 
eeres 1 
TeH vs no clerge / I hold you of the freres, 

ye preche ; 390 

If semys by youre laton 
ye haue lerd 1 youre caton. 
primus pastor, herk, syrs, ye fon, 

I shall you teche ; 394 

he sayde from heuen / a new kynde is send, 
whom a vyrgyn to neuen, oure mys to amend, 
ShaH conceyue fuH euen / thus make I' an end ; 
And yit more to neuen / that samyne shaH bend 1 

1 The first five lines on this leaf having become indistinct, have 
apparently been touched up by a later hand. 

Toivneley Plays. XII. Shepherds' Play, I. 113 

vnto VS " 399 Peace and 

VIUU Vb ' plenty, love 

With peasse and plente, SSuS? 

with ryches and menee, among us. 

Good luf and chary te 

Blendyd amanges vs 403 


Tercius pastor. And I hold if trew / ffor ther shuld be, 
When that kyng commys new / peasse by land and se. 

ij ns pastor. Now brethere, adew ! / take tent vnto me ; Home has 

° ■* ' made out 

I wold* that 1 we knew / of this song so ire that the 

, no angel was 

Of the angeH ; 4Uo sent from 

I hard by hys steuen, 
he was send downe ffro heuen. 
jpiinms pastor. If is trouth that ye neuen, 

I hard hym weH speH. 412 

*/us pastor. Now, by god that me boght / if was a He Drought 

24 short 

mery song ; notes to a 

I dar say thaf he broght / foure & twenty to a long. 
iijus pastor. I wold? it were soght / thaf same vs emong. 
primus pastor. In f ayth I trow noght / so many he Gyb could 

throng them, hut 

they weTe 

Onaneppe; 417 gentle and 

Thay were gentyll and small, 
And weH tonyd with aH. 

iijus pastor, yee, bot I can thaym aH, 

Now lyst I lepe. 421 


primus pastor. Erek outt youre voce / let se as ye yelp. Slow-pace 

iijus pastor. I may not for the pose / bot I haue help. over the 

secundus pastor. A, thy hart is in thy hose ! / finds' he\as 

, . » , i a cold. The 

j>nmus pastor. now, in payn ol a skelp others must 

This sang thou not lose. / Mm up. 

iijus pastor. thou art an yH qwelp 

ffor angre ! 426 

secundus pastor. Go to now, begyn ! 
primus pastor, he lyst not weH ryn. 
iijus pastor. Godlett vs neuer blyn ; 

Take af my sangre. 430 



Towneley Plays. XII. Shepherds' Play, I. 

When the 
song is done, 
they think 
of starting 
off, though 
there is no 

They pray 
that they 
may see this 
Babe, whom 
prophets & 
saints have 
desired to 
[Fol. 37, b.] 

A star 
appears to 
guide them. 

Gyb is sent 
in first. 

primus pastor. Now an ende haue we doyn / of oure 

song this tyde. 
{jus pastor, ffayr fail thi growne / weH has thou hyde. 
w)'us pastor. Then furth lett vs ron) / I wyU not 1 abyde. 
primus pastor. No lyght makethe mone / that 1 haue 
I asspyde ; 
Neuer the les 435 

lett vs hold? oure beheste. 

ijus pastor. That hold I best. 
iijus pastor. Then must we go eest, 

After my ges. 439 

primus pastor, wold? god that 1 we myght / this yong* 

bab see ! 
ijus pastor. Many prophetys that syght / desyryd veralee 
to haue seen that* bright. / 

iijus pastor. and god so hee 

wold shew vs that Wyght 1 / we myght say, perde, 

We had sene 444 

That* many sant 1 desyryd, 
with prophetys inspyryd, 
If thay hym requyryd, 

yit I-closyd ar thare eene. 448 

ijus pastor. God graunt vs that grace. / 
Ter cius pastor. god so do. 

primus pastor. Abyde, syrs, a space / lo, yonde?*, lo ! 
IV commys on a rase / yond sterne vs to. 

y us pastor. IV is a grete blase / oure gate let vs go, 

here he is ! [They go to Bethlehem.] 453 

iijus pastor. Who shaH go in before % 
primus pastor. I ne rek, by my hore. 
ijus pastor, ye ar of the old store, 

It semys you, Iwys. [They enter the stable.] 457 

primus pastor. hayH, kyng I the carl ! / hayH, most 1 of 
myght ! 
haytt, the worthyst of all ! / hayH, duke ! hayH, knyght ! 

Towneley Plays. XII. Shepherds Play, I. 115 

Of ereatt and smaH / thou art lorde by right : He worships 

° ' " ° the Holy 

hayH, perpetuaH ! / haytt, faryst wyght ! Child & 

offers a little 

here I oner ! 4oz spruce 

, coffer. 

I pray the to take — 

If thou wold, for my sake, 

with this may thou lake, — 

This lytytt spruse cofer. 466 


Secundus pastor, hay ft, lytyH tyn) mop / re warder of Home offers 

' a ball for 

mede ! Him to play 

hayli, bof oone drop / of grace at 1 my nede ; 
hayli, lytyll mylk sop ! / haytt, dauid sede ! 
Of oure crede thou art crop / hayli, in god hede ! 

This baH 471 

That? thou wold resaue, — 
lytyll is that 1 I haue, 
This wyH I vowche saue, — 

To play the with aft. 475 

u/us pastov. hayH, maker of man / hayli, swetyng ! siow-pace 

hayH, so as I can / hayH, praty mytyng ! EttSffor 

I cowche to the than / for fayn nere gretyng ; board to S °° d 

hayH, lord ! here I ordan / now at 1 oure metyng, ^urd." f a 

This boteH— 480 

If is an old by-worde, 
It 1 is a good bowrde, 
for to drynk of a gowrde, — 

If holdys a mettf poteH. 484 

Maria, he that aH myghtys may / the makere of heuen, Maiy prays 
That is for to say / my son that I neuen, J5JSS 

Kewarde you this day / as he sett aH on seuen ; them ' 

he graunf you for ay / his blys fuH euen 

Contynuyng ; 489 

He gyf you good grace, §& ofaj 

TeH furth of this case, 
he spede youre pase, 

And graunt you good endyng. 493 

116 Towneley Plays. XIII. Shepherds' Play, II 

The shep- primus pastor, flare well, fare lorde ! / with thy mode/* 

herds take -i 

their leave, &1SO. 

So! this ijns pastor, we shall this recorde / where as we go. 
Lamb, ^^^iijus pastor, we mon aH be restorde / god graunt* it be so ! 

] primus pastor. Amen, to that 1 worde / syng we therto 

/ On hight ; 498 

/ To Ioy aH sam, 

/ "With myrth and gam, 

I To the lawde of this lam 

Syng we in syght. 

Explicit Vna pagina pastorwm 

The first 
comes on, 
of the cold 
<fe bitter 

Incipit Alia eorwwdem. 

[83 nine-line stanzas, aaaab, cccb, and 1 seven-line {No. 30), aab, cccb. 
The aaaa lines have central rymes markt by bars.] 

Primus Pastor. 
Secundus Pastor. 
Tercius Pastor. 

Primus Pastor. 

[Dramatis Personae. 
Gyii, uxor ejus. 






ord, what 1 these weders ar cold ! / and I am yH 
happyd ; 
I am nere hande dold* / so long haue I nappyd ; 
My legys thay fold? / my fyngers ar chappyd, 
It 1 is not 1 as I wold? / for I am al lappyd? 
In sorow. 
In stormes and tempest, 
JSTow in the eesfr, now in the west, 
wo is hym has neuer rest 
Myd day nor morow ! 

Bofr we sely shepardes 1 / that 1 walkys on the moore, 
In fayth we are nere handys / outt 1 of the doore ; 

1 assonant to handt/s, &c. 


Towneley Plays. XIII. Shepherds' Play, II. 117 





No wonder as it standys / if we be poore, 

if or the tylthe of oure \audys / lyys falow as the floore, 

As ye ken. 
we ar so hamyd, 
ffor-taxed and ramyd, 
We ar mayde hand tamyd, 

with thyse gentlery men). 


Thus thay refe vs oure rest / oure lady theym wary ! 
These men that 1 ar lord fest / thay cause the ploghe tary 
That 1 men say is for the best 1 / we f ynde it contrary ; 
Thus ar husband?/s opprest 1 / in po[i]nte to myscary, 

On lyfe. 
Thus hold thay vs hunder, 
Thus thay bryng vs in blonder ; 
IV were greatte wonder, 

And euer shuld we thryfe. 

fibr may he getfr a paynfr slefe / or a broche now on dayes, 
wo is hym that hym grefe / or onys agane says ! 
Dar noman hym reprefe / what 1 mastry he mays, 
And yit 1 may noman lefe / oone word that he says, 

No letter. 
he can make purveance, 
with boste and bragance, 
And aH is thrugh mantenance 

Of men that are gretter. 

(5) 1 
Ther shall com a swane / as prowde as a po, 

he must 1 borow my wane / my ploghe also, 
Then I am fuH fane / to graunt 1 or he go. 
Thus lyf we in payne / Anger, and wo, 

By nyght 1 and day ; 
he must* haue if he langyd, 
If I shuld? forgang it, 
I were better be hangyd 

Then oones say hym nay. 

It 1 dos me good, as I walk / thus by myn oone, 
Of this warld? for to talk / in maner of mone. 





[Fol. 38, b. 
No wonder 
that shep- 
herds are 
poor, they 
are so » 
by the 
gentle folk, 

for whose 
the plough 

[1 Stanzas 4 
and 5 should 
be trans- 

gested by 



Let an 
upstart get 
fine clothes 
& he will 
do what he 
likes, & be 
backed up 
by greater 

They will 
waggon & 
plough, & 
the husband 
men had 
better hang 
than say 
them nay. 

118 Toioneley Plays. XIII. Shepherds' Play, II 

by this 
grumble he 
goes to look 
after his 
sheep till 
his fellows 

The second 
of the 

[Fol. : 

To my shepe wyH I stalk / and herkyn anone, 
Ther abyde on a balk / or sytt on a stone 

ffull soyne. 50 

ffor I trowe, perde, 
trew men if thay be, 
we gett more compane 

Or it be noyne. 54 

Secxmdus p&stov. Benste and dominus ! / what 1 may this 
bemeyne 1 
why, fares this warld thus / oft 1 hane we not sene % 
lord, thyse weders ar spytus / and the weders furl: kene. 
] And the hostys so hydus / thay water myn eeyne, 

No ly. 59 

Now in dry, now in wete, 
Now in snaw, now in slete, 
When my shone freys to my fete, 

. It 1 is not all esy. 63 

There is 
mickle woe 
for wedded 
men. Capel, 
their hen, 
cackles to & 
fro ; when 
she croaks, 
the cock 
is in the 


Bofr as far as I ken / or yit 1 as I go, 

we sely wedmen / dre mekyH wo ; 

We haue sorow then and then / if fallys oft so ; 

Sely capyle, onre hen / both to and fro 

She kakyls ; 
Bot 1 begyn she to crok, 
To groyne or [to clo]k, 
Wo is hym is of onre cok, 

ffor he is in the shekyls. 



A wedded 
man has not 
all his will, 
& must keep 
his sighs to 

The shep- 
herd has 
learnt his 
lesson: he 
that is 
bound must 
abide so. 


These men that ar wed / haue not aH thare wyH, 

when they ar fuH hard sted / thay sygh" fuH styH ; 
God wayte thay ar led / fuH hard and fuH yH ; 
In bower nor in bed / thay say noght ther tyH, 

This tyde. 
My parte haue I fun, 
I know my lesson, 
wo is hym that 1 is bun, 

ffor he must 1 abyde. 



Towneley Plays. XIII. Shepherds' Play, II. 119 


Bot now late in oure lyfys / a memeH to me, 
That I thynk my hart 1 ryfys / sich wonders to see. 
what 1 that destany dryfys / it shuld so be ; 
Som men wyH have two wyfys / and som men thre, 

In store ; 86 

Som ar wo that has any, 
Bot 1 so far can I, 
wo is hym that has many, 

ffor he felys sore. 90 


Bot 1 yong men of wowyng / for god that 1 you boght 1 , 
Be well war of wedyng / and thynk in youre thoght, 
" had I wyst " is a thyng / it seruys of noght ; 
MekyH styH mowrnyng / has wedyng home broght, 

And grefys ; 95 

with many a sharp showre, 
ffor thou may each in an owre 
That shall [savour] 1 fulle sowre 

As long as thou lyffys. 99 

ffor, as euer red I pystyH / I haue oone to my fere, 
As sharp as a thystyU / as rugh as a brere ; 
She is browyd lyke a brystyH / with a sowre loten chere ; 
had She oones Wett Hyr Whystyll / She couth Syng full 

Hyr pater noster. 104 

She is as greatt as a whaH, 
She has a galon of gaH : 
By hym that dyed for vs aH, 

I wald I had ryn to I had lost hir. 108 

primus pastor. God looke ouer the raw / ffuH deny ye 

ijus pastor, yee, the dewiH in thi maw / so tariand. 
sagh thou awro of daw ? / 

^>ri7?ius pastor. yee, on a ley land 

hard I hym blaw / he commys here at 1 hand, 

Not 1 far; 113 

1 The word in brackets is illegible in the MS. 

Yet some 
men will 
have two 
wives <fc 
some three : 
some are 
woe that 
they have 

Young men 
must beware 
of wedding ; 
for "had I 
wist" serves 

The shep- 
herd has a 
wife as sharp 
as thistle. 

[Fol. 39, h.] 

She is great 
as a whale 
with a gallon 
of gall. 

He vishes 
he had run 
till he lost 

The first 
greets him, 
& says he 
has heard 
the third, 
Daw, blow- 
ing his pipe : 
he is near 
at hand. 


Towneley Plays. XIII. Shepherds' Play, II. 

Daw will 
make them, 
some lie, 
unless they 

Daw invokes 
cross & S. 
Nicholas, & 
complains of 
the world's 

The floods 
now are 
worse than 
ever before. 

They that 
walk at 
night see 
sights. He 
spies shrews 

He greets 
the shep- 
herds & 
wants meat 
& drink. 




Stand styrl. 

ijus pastor, qwhy % 
pmimws pastoi. ffor he ccmzmys, hope I. 
ijus pastov. he wyH make vs both a ly 
Bot 1 if we be war. 

Tercius pastov. Crjstys crosse me spede / and sant 1 
nycholas ! 
Ther of had I nede / it 1 is wars then if was. 
Whoso couthe take hede / and lett 1 the warld pas, 
It 1 is euer in drede / and brekyH as glas, 

And slythys. 
This warld? fowre neuer so, 
With mernels mo and mo, 
.Now in weyH, now in wo, 
And aH thyng wry thy s. 

Was neuer syn noe noode / sich Hoodys seyn ; 
Wyudys and ranys so rude / and stormes so keyn ; 
Som stamerd, som stod* / in dowte, as I weyn ; 
Now god turne aH to good / I say as I mene, 

ffor ponder. 
These Hoodys so thay drowne, 
Both in feyldys and in towne, 
And berys aii downe, 

And that 1 is a wonder. 

We that 1 walk on the nyghtys / oure cateH to kepe, 
We se sodan) syghtys / when othere men slepe. 1 
yit 1 me thynk my hart lyghtys / I se shrewys pepe; 
ye ar two aH wyghk/s / I wyH gyf my shepe 

A turne. 140 

Bot 1 furl yrl haue I ment, 
As I walk on this bent 1 , 
I may lyghtly repent 1 , 

My toes if I spurne. 144 

A, sir, god? you saue / and master myne ! 
A drynk fayn wold I haue / and somwhat to dyne. 
1 Originally "slepys " ; altered in red ink. 



Towneley Plays. XIII. Shepherds' Play, II. 121 

primus pastor. Crystys curs, my knaue / thou art 1 a They up- 
braid him 
ledyr hyne ! as a sluggish 

ijtiS pastor. What 1 ! the boy lyst 1 rave; / abyde vnto syne; comes Me 

TTT . . "_ . _ & talks 

We haue mayde it*. 149 about 

yH thryft 1 on thy pate ! ^^ a>] 

Though the shrew cam late, 
yit is he in state 

To dyne, if he had it. 153 

Tercins pastor. Sicrl seruand^/s as I / that 1 swettys and Daw says 

t servants 

swynkys, sweat & 

Etys oure brede fuH dry / and that me forthynkys ; they eat U 

We ar oft* weytfr and wery / when master-men wynkys, dry^& tnei 
yitf commys f nfi lately / both dyners and drynkys, gjjj* at 

Botfnately. 158 theirhire - 

Both oure dame and oure syre, 
when we haue ryn in the myre, 
Thay can nyp at 1 oure hyre, 

And pay vs furl lately. 162 

Bot 1 here my troutS., master / for the fayr that 1 ye make, He tells 
I shall do theraf ter / wyrk as I take ; work as he 

1 shall do a lytyH. sir / and emang euer lake, a cheap ° x 

ffor yit 1 lay my soper / neuer on my stomake yfe^fs but 

In feyldys. 167 p °° rly ' 

Wherto shuld* I threpe 1 
with my staf can I lepe, 
And men say " lyght 1 chepe 

letherly for-yeldys." 171 

primus pastor. Thou were an yrr" lad / to ryde on The first 

WOWyng says Daw 

With a man that 1 had / bof lytyH of spendyng. mTadtogo 

ijus pastor. Peasse, boy, I bad / no more Iangling, wrth°a poor 


Or I shall make the futt rad / by the heuen's kyng ! 

with thy gawdys ; 176 Theshep- 

wher ar oure shepe, boy, we skorne ? afteAheir 

iijus pastor. Sir, this same day at 1 morne s eep * 

I thaym left* in the corne, 

when thay rang lawdys ; 180 

122 Towneley Plays. XIII. Shepherds' Play, II. 

The three 
sing a song, 
taking tenor, 
treble, & 

Mak comes 
on, wishing 
he were in 
where no 
bairns weep 

Thay haue pasture good / thay can not 1 go wrong, 
primus pastor. That 1 is right*, by the roode ! / thyse 
nyghtys ar long, 
yifr I wold, or we yode / oone gaf vs a song. 

ij\xs pastor. So I thoghf as I stode / to myrth vs emong. 
iijua pastor. I grauntf. 185 

primus pastor. lett 1 me syng the tenory. 
ijus pastor. And I the tryble so hye. 
iijtis pastor. Then the meyne fallys to me ; 

lett se how ye chauntt. 189 

Tunc intrat mak, in clamide se super togam vestitus. 

Mak. Now lord, for thy naymes sevyn 1 / that 1 made 
both moyn & starnes 
WeH mo then I can neuen / thi wiU, lorde, of me 
tharnys ; 
[Foi. 40, b.] I am aH vneuen / that moves oft my harnes, 

Now Wold god I were in heuen / for there 2 wepe no barnes 
So styli. . 194 

primus pastor. Who is that 1 pypys so poore 1 
Mak. wold? god ye wyst 1 how I foore ! 
lo, a man that w&lkys on the moore, 

And has not aH his wyH ! 198 

sexnndus pastor. Mak, where has thou gon 3 1 / teH 

vs tythyng. 
Tercius pastor. Is he commen ? then ylkon / take hede 

to his thyng. 

& accipit clamidem ah ipso. 

Mak. what ! ich be a yoman / I teH you, of the king ; 
The self and the same / sond from a greatfr lordyng, 

And sich. 203 

ffy on you ! goyth hence 
Out of my presence ! 
I must 1 haue reuerence ; 

why, who be ich 1 207 

1 MS. vij. 2 MS. the. 3 MS. gom. 

The 2nd 
asks the 
news. Daw 
bids each 
man look to 
his goods. 

Mak says he 
is the king's 
yeoman, & 
must have 

Toivneley Plays. XIII. Shepherds' Play, II 123 

(24) l^ 

primus pastor. Why make ye it so q waynt 1 I mak, ye in spite of 

* •* " the shep- 

d.0 Wrang. herds' com- 

n i t xi j merits Mak 

Mas pastor. Bot 1 , mak, lyst ye saynt f / 1 trow that ye continues to 


iijus pastor. I trow the shrew can paynt, / the dewyH 

myght 1 hym hang ! 
Mak. Ich shaH make complaynt / and make you aH to 
At a worde, 212 

And teH euyn how ye doth. 

m _ lH6 lSu 

primus pastor. Bot, Mak, is that sothe i shepherd 

■xt i i i bids him 

.Now take outt that sothren tothe, take out his 

And sett in a torde ! 216 tooth. 

ijus pastor. Mak, the dewiH in youre ee / a stroke wold? Under 

T , threats Mak 

1 leyne you. recognizes 

iijus pastor. Mak, know ye not me? / by god I couthe herds as "a 

. t fair com- 

teyn 1 you. pany . 

Male. God looke you. aH thre ! / me thoght I had sene 
ye ar a fare compane. / 
primus pastor. can ye now mene you 1 

secundus pastor. Shrew, lape ! 221 The 2nd 

Thus late as thou goys, hints that 

, . ,, „ Mak is out 

what wytt men suppos { so late with 

And thou has an yH noys sheep- 

of stelyng of shepe. 225 ms * 

(26) , 
Mak. And I am trew as steyH / aH men waytt, Mak says all 

Bot a sekenes I feyH / that hald^/s me fuH haytt, heTstouTas 

My belly farys not weyH / it is out of astate. Reikis 

iijus pastor. Seldom lyys the dewyH / dede by the gate. Khalno 
Mak. Therfor 230 a PP etite - 

fuH sore am I and yH, 
If I stande stone styH ; 
I ete not an nedyH 

Thys moneth and more. 234 

1 MS. teyle; but the letters "le" have been written over the 
original by a later hand. 

124 Towneley Plays. XIII. Shepherds 7 Play, II. 

Asked after 
his wife, 
Mak says 
she does 
nought but 

[Fol. 41, a.] 

eat & drink 
& bear 

rich he were 
she would 
eat him out 
of house & 

He would 
give all he 
has would 
she but need 
a mass- 

The shep- 
herds are 
tired and lie 
down to 

They make 
Mak lie 

primus pastor, how farys thi wyff ] by my hoode / 

how farys sho % 
Male, lyys walteryng, by the roode / by the fyere, lo ! 
And a howse furl of brude / she drynkys werl to ; 
yU spede othere good / that she wyH do ! 

Bot so 239 

Etys as fast as she can, 
And ilk yere that 1 co?>zmys to man 
She bryngys furth a lakan, 

And som yeres two. 243 

Bot 1 were I not 1 more gracyus / and rychere befar, 
I were eten outt of howse / and of harbar ; 
Yit 1 is she a fowH dowse / if ye com nar : 
Ther is none that 1 trowse / nor knowys a war, 

Then ken I. 248 

Now wyH ye se what 1 I profer, 
To gyf arl in my cofer 
To morne at next to offer 

hyr hed mas pewny. 252 

Secundus p>astor. I wote so forwakyd / is none in this 
shyre : 
I wold slepe if I takyd / les to my hyere. 

iijus pastor. I am cold* and nakyd / and wold haue a 

^?ri7?zus pastor. I am wery, for-rakyd / and run in the 
wake thou ! 257 

ijus pastor. Nay, I wyH lyg downe by, 
ffor I must slepe truly. 

u)'us pastor. As good a man's son was I 

As any of you. 261 

Bot, mak, com heder ! betwene / shall thou lyg downe. 
Mak. Then myght I lett you bedene / of that 1 ye wold 

1 Possibly 2 lines in -owne are missing in this couplet. 
see the like, stanza 15 in the first Shepherds' Play, p. 104. 


Towneley Plays. XIII. Shepherds' Play, II 125 

No drede. 264 

ffro my top to my too, 
Manws tuas co??zmendo, 
poncio pilato, 

Cryst crosse me spede ! 268 

Tunc surgit, pastoribus dormientihus, & dicit ; 


JSTow were tyme for a man / that lakkys what 1 he wold, 
To stalk preuely than / vnto a fold?, 
And neemly to wyrk than / and be not 1 to bold, 
ffor he might aby the bargan / if it 1 were told 

At 1 the endyng. 273 

Now were tyme for to reyH ; 
Bot he ne&ys good counsell 
That 1 fayn wold* fare weyH, 

And has bot 1 lytyH spendyng. 277 

Bot 1 abowte you a serkyH: / as rownde as a moyn, 
To I haue done that I wyH / tyU that it be noyn, 
That ye lyg stone styH / to that 1 1 haue doyne, 
And I shall say thertyH / of good word?/s a foyne. 

On hight 282 

Oner youre hejdys my hand I lyft, 
Outtf go youre een, fordo your syght, 
Bot 1 yit 1 I must make better shyft, 

Mak says 
a mock 

He sees a 
chance of 
stealing a 

And it 1 be right. 



lord ! what 1 thay slepe hard ! / that 1 may ye aft here ; 

was I neuer a shepard / bot 1 now wyH I lere. 

If the flok be skard / yit 1 shaft I nyp nere, 

how ! drawes hederward ! / now mendys oure chere 

ffrom sorow : [MS. ffron.] 

A fatt 1 shepe I dar say, 
A good flese dar I lay, 
Eft whyte when I may, 

Bot 1 this will I borow. [Mak goes home.] 

how, gytt, art 1 thou In % / gett vs som lyght. 
Vxor eius. Who makys sich dyn / this tyme 
nyght % 



of the 

He uses a 
spell to 
make the 
sleep till 

[Fol. 41, b.] 

When he 
finds by 
their snoring 
that they are 
hard he 
a sheep & 
carries it 

He knocks, 
& his wife 
Gyll asks 
"Who is it?" 


Tovmehy Plays. XIII. Shepherds Play, II. 

Gyll says she 
is spinning 
& can't be 
for nothing. 

When she 
Mak's voice 
she let's him 
in; "his 
stealing will 
end in his 

Mak has 
done it 
before, but 
"so long 
goes the pot 
to the water 
that it is 
broken at 

Mak wants 
a dinner off 
the sheep at 
once, but 
they are 
afraid the 

[Fol. 42, a.] 

may follow 



I am sett 1 for to spyn / I hope not I myght 1 
Kyse a penny to wyn, / I shrew them on hight ! 

So farys 
A huswyfr" that has bene 
To be rasyd thus betwene : 
here may no note be sene 
ffor sich smaH charys. 

Mak. Good wyff, open the hek ! / seys thou not what 

Vxor. I may thole the dray the snek. / A, com in, 

my swetyng ! 
Mak. yee, thou thar not 1 rek / of my long standyng. 
Vxor. By the nakyd nek / art 1 thou lyke for to hyng. 
Mak. Do way : 309 

I am worthy my mete, 
ffor in a strate can I gett 
More then thay that 1 swynke and swette 

AH the long day, 313 

Thus it 1 ferl to my lott / gyll, I had sich grace. 

Vxor. It 1 were a fowH blott / to be hanged for the case. 
Mak. I haue skapyd, Ielott / oft 1 as hard a glase. 
Vxor. Bot 1 so long goys the pott / to the wate?*, men says, 
At last 318 

Comys it 1 home broken. 

Mak. weH knowe I the token, 
Bot let 1 it 1 neuer be spoken ; 

Bot 1 com and help fast. 322 

I wold he were slayn / I lyst weft ete : 
This twelmothe was I not 1 so fayn / of oone shepe mete. 
Vxor. Com thay or he be slayn / and here the shepe blete ! 
Mak. Then myght I be tane, / that 1 were a cold? swette ! 
Go spar 327 

The gaytt doore. 

Vxor. Yis, Mak, 

ffor and thay com at thy bak, 

Mak. Then myght I by, for aH the pak, 

The dewiU of the war. 331 

Toiuneley Plays. XIII. Shepherds Play, II. 127 


vxor. A good bowrde haue I spied / syn thou can none. Gyii will put 

the shee P in 
here shall we hym hyde / to thay be gone ; a cradle & 

In my credyH abyde / lett me alone, a new-born 

And I sharl lyg besyde / in chylbed, and grone. 

Mak. Thou red ; 336 

And I shall say thou was lyght 

Of a knaue child e this nyght. 

Vxor. Now weH is me day bright, 

That 1 euer was I bred. 340 


This is a good gyse / and a far cast; Mak must go 

v ., IT! , ,i i back to the 

lit 1 a woman avyse / helpys at 1 the last. shepherds, 

I wote neuer who spyse, / agane go thou fast. be an ill 

Mak. Bot 1 1 com or thay ryse / els blawes a cold blast ! 
I wyH go slepe. [Mak returns to the shepherds, 

yit 1 slepys aft this meneye, and resumes his place.'] 

And I shaU go stalk pmiely, 

As it had neuer bene I He finds 

That 1 caryed thare shepe. 349 sleeping. 

primus pastor. Eesurrex a mortrw's ! / haue hald my hand. The 1st 
Iudas carnas dominus ! / I may not weH stand : wakes? 1 He 

My foytt slepys, by ihesus 1 / and I water fastand. he d was e near 

I thoghf that 1 we layd vs / f uH nere yngland. England. 

Secundus pastor. Aye! 354 The 2nd 

lord ! what I haue slept weyH ; has slept 

As fresh as an eyH, 
As lyght I me feyH 

As leyfe on a tre. 358 

Tercius pastor. Benste be here in ! / so my [hart?] qwakys, Daw wakes 
My hart 1 is outt of skyn / what 1 so it makys. asks where 

Who makys all: this dyn 1 / so my browes blakys, 
To the do wore wyH I wyn / harke felows, wakys ! 

We were fowre : 363 

se ye awre of mak now 1 
primus pastor, we were vp or thou. The 2nd 

/ -»/r t n i shepherd 

ijus pastor. Man, I gyf god a vowe, says he has 

yit 1 yede he nawre. 367 nowhere. 

1 MS. iHc. 

128 Towneley Plays. XIII. Shepherds' Play, II. 

Daw had fc'yus pastor. Me thoght lie was lapt / in a wolfe skyn. 

primus pastor. So are many hapt / now namely within. 
ij\is pastor. When we had long napt /me thoght with 
[Foi. 42, b.] A fatt shepe he trapt / bot he mayde no dyn. 

Tercius pastor. Be styft : 372 

Thi dreme makys the woode : 
It is bot fantom, by the roode. 
primus pastor. Now god turne aH to good, 

If it 1 be his wyll. 376 

Mak had 
trapped one 
of the sheep 
but he is 

reassured by 
the others. 

They wake 
Mak, who 
pretends to 
have a stiff 
neck, and to 
have been 
by a dream. 


ijus pastor. Eyse, mak, for shame ! / thou \jgys right 

Mak. Now crjstys holy name / be vs emang ! 
what 1 is this 1 for sant lame / I may not weH gang ! 
I trow I be the same / A ! my nek has lygen) wrang 

Enoghe; 381 

MekiH thank, syn yister euen, 
Now, by sant strevyn, 
I was flayd with a swevyn, 

My hart out of sloghe. 385 

He dreamt 
his wife had 
another boy ! 
Wo is him 
that has 
many bairns 
and little 


I thoght gyrl began to crok / and traueH full sad, 
welner at 1 the fyrst 1 cok / of a yong lad, 
nor to mend oure flok / then be I neuer glad. 
I haue tow on my rok / more then euer I had. 

A, my heede ! 
A house furl of yong tharmes, 
The dewiH knok outt thare harnes ! 
wo is hym has many barnes, 

And therto lytyll brede ! 



He must go 
home to 
Gyll, but 
first bids 
them see he 
has stolen 


I must 1 go home, by youre lefe / to gyrl as I thoght. 
I pray you looke my slefe / that 1 1 steyH noght : 
I am loth you to grefe / or from you take oght. 

iijus pastor. Go furth, yH myght thou chefe ! / now 
wold I we soght, 

Toivneley Plays. XII I. Shepherds' Play, II. 129 

This morne, 399 The ahep- 

* herds 

That we had aH oure store. separate to 

count their 

primus pastor. Boft I wiH go before, sheep, 

let vs mete. 

ijus pastor, whore 1 ? 

iijus pastor. At the crokyd thorne. 403 

Mak. Vndo this doore ! who is here % I how long shaft Mak comes 

home & is 
I Standi welcomed 

Vxor eius. Who makys sich a bere % / now walk in the some 7 

Wenyand. gramWi " g ' 

Mak. A, gyft, what chere 1 / it is I, mak, youre husbande, 
Vxor. Then may we be here / the dewiH in a bande, 
Syr gyle ; 408 

lo, he commys with a lote 
As he were holden in the throte. 
I may not syt at my note, 

A hand lang while. 412 


Mak. wyH ye here what fare she makys / to gett hir a 
And dos nog-lit 1 bot lakys / and clowse hir toose. 

Vxor. why, who wanders, who wakys / who commys, it is the 

-i „ n woman does 

WilOgOSe? all the work, 

who brewys, who bakys 1 / what makys me thus hose ? Chouse 3 - 
And than, 417 J-«* 

It 1 is rewthe to beholde, 

Now in hote, now in colde, 

ffuH wofuH is the householde 

That w&ntys a woman. 421 

Bot? what ende has thou mayde / with the hyrdys, [Foi. 43, a.] 

mak ? 
Mak. The last* worde that 1 thay sayde / when I turnyd Mak tells 

mv "hair Gyllthe 

m J DaK > shepherds 

Thay wold looke that 1 thay hade / thare shepe aH the pak. thlSep. 2 
I hope thay wyH: nott* be weH payde / when thay thare 
shepe lak, 
Perde. 426 



Towneley Plays. XIII. Shepherds' Play, II. 

The shep- 
herds are 
sure to sus- 
pect him. 

The sheep is 
swaddled in 
a cradle, & 
Gyll lies 

Mak must 
sing a 
while she 

Bot 1 how so the gam gose, 
To me thay wyH suppose, 
And make a fowil noyse, 
And cry outt 1 apon me. 

The shep- 
herds meet 
The 1st 
has lost a 
fat wether, & 
has searched 
"all horbery 
shrogys" in 



Bot 1 thou must 1 do as thou hyght 1 / 

Vxor. I accorde me thertyH. 

I shall swedyH hym) right / In my credyrl ; 
If it 1 were a gretter slyght / yitf couthe I help tyH. 
I wyH lyg downe stright ; / com hap me ; 

Mak. I wyH. 

Vxor. Behynde. 435 

Com cott and his maroo, 
Thay will nyp vs furl naroo. 

Mak. Bot 1 1 may cry out 1 ' haroo/ 

The shepe if thay fynde. 43& 

Vxor. harken ay when thay caH / thay wiH com onone. 
Com and make redy aU / and syng by thyn oone ; 
Syng lullay thou shall / for I must 1 grone, 
And cry outt by the wall / on mary and Iohu, 

ffor sore. 444 

Syng lullay on fast 1 
when thou heris at 1 the last 1 ; 
And bot 1 1 play a fals cast, 

Trust 1 me no more. 448 

Tercius pastor. A, coH, goode morne / why slepys thou 

primus pastor. Alas, that euer was I borne ! / we haue 
a fowll blott. 
A fat wedir haue we lorne. / 

Tercius pastor. mary, go&ys forbott ! 

£)'us pastor, who shuld do vs that 1 skorne 1 

that 1 were a fowli spott. 
primus pastor. Som shrewe. 453 

I haue soght 1 with my dogys 
Att horbery shrogys, 
And of fefteyn 1 hogys 

ffond I bot oone ewe. 457 

1 MS. xv. 

Townehy Plays. XIII. ShephertM Play, II. 131. 

iijns pastor. Now trow me, if ye will / by sant thomas Daw sus- 

„ , , pects either 

01 Kent, Mak or Gyll. 

Ay the r mak or gyH / was at that* assent 1 . 
pvimus pastor, peasse, man, be still ! / I sagll when he 
went ; 
Thou sklanders hym yH / thou aght to repent, 

Goode spede. 462 

ijus pastor. Now as euer myght I the, 
If I shuld? euyn here de, 
I wold say it 1 were he, 

That 1 dyd that same dede. 466 


iijus pastor. Go we theder, I rede / and ryn on oure The shep 

herds ' 
off for 

herds start 
ieete. offforMak's 

ShaH I neuer ete brede / the sothe to I wytt. 
primus pastor. Nor drynk in my heede / with hym tyH 

I mete. 
Secundus jpastor. I wyH rest 1 in no stede / tyH that I [Foi. 43, b.] 
hym grete, 
My brothere. 471 

Oone I wiH hight : 
TyH I se hym. in sight 1 
shaH I neuer slepe one nyghf 

Ther I do anothere. 475 

Tercius pastor. wiH ye here how thay hak 1 / oure syre, They hear 

lyst 1 , croyne. -£, and 

primus pastor, hard I neuer none crab / so clere out of tS^spfak 
toyne ; softl J r - 

Carl on hym. 

ijus pastor, mak ! / vndo youre doore soyne. 
Male. Who is that 1 spak, / as it were noyne, 

On loft 1 ? 480 

Who is that* I say % 

iijus pastor. Goode felowse, were it day. 
Mak. As far as ye may, 

Good, sipekys soft 1 , 484 

132 Tovmeley Plays. XIII. Shepherds' Play, II 

Every foot- Oner a seke woman's heede / that* is at mayli easse ; 
through I had leuer be dede / or she had any dyseasse. 

Vxor. Go to an othere stede / I may not weH qweasse. 
Ich fote that 1 ye trede / goys thorow my nese. 

So hee ! 489 

primus pastor. Tell vs, mak, if ye may, 
how fare ye, I say 1 

Mak. Bot 1 ar ye in this towne to day 1 

Now how fare ye 1 ■■ 493 


Mak bids the ye haue ryn in the myre / and ar weytt yit 1 : 
sit down* I shall make you a fyre / if ye wiH syt. 
hascome" 1 A nores wold* I hyre / thynk ye on yit, 

weH qwytt is my hyre / my dreme this is itt, 

A seson. 498 

I haue barnes, if ye knew, 
weH mo then enewe, 
Bot 1 we must 1 drynk as we brew, 

And that 1 is bot 1 reson. 502 

The shep- I wold ye dynyd or ye yode / me thynk that 1 ye swette. 
ciinehis Secundus pastor. Nay, nawther mendys oure mode / 

hospitality, , . 

& hint that drynke nor mette. 

their sheep. Mak. why, sir, alys you oghtf bot goode 1 ? / 

Tercius pastor, yee, oure shepe that we gett, 
Ar stollyn as thay yode / oure los is grette. 

Mak. Syrs, diynkys ! 507 

had I bene thore, 
Som shuld haue boght 1 it full sore, 
primus pastor. Mary, som men trowes that 1 ye wore, 
And that vs forthynk?/s. 511 

Mak bids ijus pastor. Mak, som men trowys / that 1 it shuld be ye. 

them search ... . , , / 

the house. tij us pastor. Aytner ye or youre spouse / so say we. 

Mak. Now if ye haue suspowse / to giH or to me, 
Com and rype oure howse / and then may ye se 

Towneley Plays. XIII. Shepherds Play, II. 133 

who had hir, 516 AsforGyii, 

7 she has not 

If I any shepe fott, left her bed. 

Aythor cow or stott ; 

And gyH, my wyfe, rose nott 

here syn she lade hir. 520 

As I am true and lele / to god here I pray, s^hV] 

That 1 this he the fyrst mele / that 1 I shall ete this day. 

primus pastor. Mak, as haue I ceyrl, / Avyse the, I say ; 
he lernyd tymely to steytt / that 1 couth not 1 say nay. 

Vxor. Iswelt! 525 Gyn cries 

out on them 

Outt, thefys, fro my wonys ! for thieves, 

ye com to roh vs for the nonys. 

Mak. here ye not how she gronys 1 

youre hartys shuld melt 1 . 529 

Vxor. Outt 1 , thefys, fro my harne ! / negh hym not 

Mak. wyst ye how she had fame / youre hartys wold Mak re- 

J d ' d d proaches the 

be SOre. shepherds 

for disturb- 

ye do wrang, I you warne / that 1 thus coramys before ing her. 

To a woman that 1 has fame / bot 1 1 say no more. 

Vxor. A, mymedyH! 534 Gyii-miieat 

T , ". 1 the child in 

1 pray to god so mylde, the cradle 

It euer I you begyla, cheated 

That 1 1 ete this chylde them - 

That Ijgys in this credyH. 538 

Mak. peasse, woman, for godys payn / and cry not 1 so : The shep- 
Thou spyllys thy brane / and makys me f uH wo. • find nothing 

Seamdus pastor. I trow oure shepe be slayn / what but two 
finde ye two 1 pStters. 

iijus pastor. AH wyrk we in vayn / as weH may we go. 
Bot hatters, 543 

I can fynde no flesh, 
hard nor nesh, 
Salt nor fresh, 

Bot 1 two tome platers. 547 


Towneley Plays. XIII. Shepherds' Play, II. 

The 1st 
thinks they 
have made 
a mistake. 
They talk of 
Gyll's child. 

Parkyn and 
Waller and 
gentle John 
Home are 
his gossips. 

[Fol. 44, h.] 

The shep- 
herds take 
a friendly 
Mak pre- 
tends to 

Daw goes 
back to give 
the child a 

Mak tries to 
keep him 
away from 
the cradle. 

Whik cateH bot 1 this / tame nor wylde, 
None, as haue I blys / as lowde as lie smylde. 

Vxor. No, so god me blys / and gyf me Ioy of my chylde ! 
2?ri??ms pastor. We haue merkyd amys / I hold vs begyld. 
ijus pastor. Syr don, 552 

Syr, oure lady hym saue ! 
Is youre chyld a knaue % 

MaJc. Any lord myghf hym haue 

This chyld to his son. 556 

when he wakyns he kyppys / that 1 ioy is to se. 

iijus pastor. In good tyme to hys hyppys / and in cele. 
Bot who was his gossyppys / so sone rede 1 
Mak. So fare faH thare lyppys ! / 
piimus pastor. hark now, a le I 

Mak. So god thaym thank, 561 

Parkyn, and gybon waller, I say, 
And gentiH Iohn home, in good fay, 
he made aH the garray, 

With the greatt 1 shank. 565 

ijus pastor. Mak, freynd?/s wiH we be / fflor we ar aH oone. 
Male, we ! now I hald for me / for mend?/6' gett I none, 
flare well all thre / aH glad were ye gone. 

[TJie shepherds leave.] 
iijus pastoi. Hare wordys may ther be / bot 1 luf is ther 
this yere. 570 

primus pastoi. Gaf ye the chyld' any thyng 1 
ijus pastoi. I trow not 1 oone farthyng. 
iijus pastor, ffast 1 agane wiH I flyng, 

Abyde ye me there. [Goes back to the house.] 

Mak, take it to no grefe / if I com to thi barne. 

Mak. Nay, thou dos me greatt reprefe / and fowH has 

thou fame. 
iijus pastor. The child wiH it 1 not 1 grefe / that lytyH 
day starne. 
Mak, with youre leyfe / let me gyf youre barne, 

Towneley Plays. XIII. Shepherds" Play, II 135 

Bot 1 sex 1 pence. 579 

Mak. Nay, do way : he slepys. Jg s ets 

iijvis pastor. Me thynk he pepys. 
Mak. when he wakyns he wepys. 

I pray you go hence. [The other shepherds come back.] 
iijus pastor. Gyf me lefe hym to kys / and ]yffr vp the lifts the 
clowtt. [Seeing the sheep.] kiss the 

what* the dewiH is this 1 / he has a long snowte. claim's atTts 

primus pastor, he is merkyd amys. / we wate iH abowte. Toothers' 
ijus pastor. Hi spon weft, Iwys / ay commys fouU tSafte?* 7 
owte. Si u ? 

Ay, so! 588 S. the 

he is lyke to oure shepe ! 

Myus pastor, how, gyb ! may I pepe % 
primus pastor. I trow, kynde wiH crepe 

where it may not go. 592 

ijus pastor. This was a qwantft gawde / and a far cast. The shep- 

liGrds ftrp 

It was a hee frawde. / furious, hut 

.... , can't help 

zijus pastor. yee, syrs, wast. seeing the 

lett bren this bawde / and bynd hir fast. J0 e ' 

A fals skawde / hang at 1 the last ; 

So shaH thou. 597 

wyH ye se how thay swedyH 
his foure f eytt in the medyU 1 
Sagh I neuer in a credyH 

A hornyd lad or now. 601 

Mak. Peasse byd I : what 1 ! / lett 1 be youre fare ; [Foi. 45, a. 

I am he that hym gatt / and yond woman hym bare. Mak and 

primus pastor. What 1 dewirl shaH he hatt? / Mak, lo KStthe 
god maki/s ayre. theKiid. 

ijus pastor, lett* be aH that 1 . / now god gyf hym care, 
I sagh. 606 

Vxor. A pratty child is he 
As syttys on a waman's kne ; 
A dyllydowne, perde, 

To gar a man laghe. 610 

"* 1 MS. vj. 

136 Towneley Plays. XIII. Shepherds' Play, II. 

a clerk had nms pastor. I know hym by the eere marke / that 1 is 

toldMakthe , ' , 

child was a good tokyn. 

forspoken, & __ , T , .. . . , . . _ 

Gyii saw an Mok. 1 tea you, syrs, nark ! / hys noyse was brokyn. 
him as the Sythen told? me a clerk / that* he was f orspokyn. 
twelve. primus pastor. This is a fals wark / I wold? fayn be 

wrokyn : 
Gett 1 wepyn. 615 

Vxor. he was takyn with an elfe, 
I saw it 1 myself, 
when the clok stroke twelf 

was he forshapyn. 619 

But Mak ijus pastor, ye two ar weH fef t / sam in a stede. 

guilty, and iijus pastor. Syn thay manteyn thare theft 1 / let do 
herds let thaym to dede. 

a good Mak. If I trespas eft / gyrd of my heede. 

an e mg. ^^ ^^ ^j ^ ^ e j^ j 

primus pastor. syrs, do my reede. 

fTor this trespas, 624 

we wiH nawther ban ne flyte, 
ffyght 1 nor chyte, 
Bot 1 haue done as tyte, 

And cast hym in canvas. {They toss Mak in a sJieet.] 
They toss lord ! what 1 1 am sore / in poynt 1 for to bryst. 

him till they I if J J 

are tired, & In f ayth I may no more / therfor wyH I ryst. 
down to ^'us pastor. As a shepe of sevyn * skore / he weyd in 

my fyst. 
ffor to slepe ay whore / me thynk that 1 1 lyst. 

iijus pastor. Now I pray you, 633 

lyg downe on this grene. 

primus pastor. On these theiys yit I mene. 
iijus pastor, wherto shuld ye tene 

So, as I say you 1 ? 637 

Angelus cantat " gloria in exelsis : " postea dicat : 

An angel Angelus. Eyse, hyrd men heynd ! / for now is he borne 

rise. That 1 shall take fro the feynd / that 1 adam had lorne : 

1 MS. vij. 

Towneley Plays. XIII. Shepherds' Play, II 137 

That* warloo to sheynd / this nyghf is he borne. The Re- 

vi i ° deenier is 

God is made youre freynd / now at 1 this morne. *°™> * ^ey 

he behestys, 642 Bethlehem 

J ' to see Him. 

At 1 bedlem go se, 
Ther Ijgys that 1 fre 
In a cryb fuH poorely, 

Betwyx two bestys. 646 

primus pastor. This was a qwant stevyn / that 1 euer yit [Pol. 45, b.j 

T -i -11 The shep- 

I nard. 1 herds talk of 

It is a merueH to neuyn / thus to be skard. message, 1 & 

ijvis pastor. Of godys son of heuyn / he spak vpward. star! smdl " g 
AH the wod on a leuyn / me thoghf that he gard 

Appere. 651 

iijrxB pastor, he spake of a barne 
In bedlem, I yon warne. 

primus pastor. That 1 betokyns yond starne. 

let vs seke hym there, 655 

ijus pastor. Say, what* was his song 1 / hard ye not They discuss 

* i i j m. i» ■ ' . tne angel's 

how he crakyd if 1 music, & try 

mi i n i i i to imitate it. 

Ihre breles to a long. / 

iijus pastor. yee, mary, he hakt 1 it. 

was no crochetf wrong / nor no thyng that 1 lakt if. 
primus pastor, ffor to syng vs emong / right* as he 
knakt if, 
I can. 660 

ijxis pastor, lef se how ye croyne. 2 
Can ye bark af the mone 1 

iijus pastor, hold youre tonges, haue done ! 

primus pastor, hark after, than. 664 

ijns pastor. To bedlem he bad / thaf we shuld gang : But they 
I am full fard / thaf we tary to lang. toSSS" 

n/us pastor. Be mery and nof sad / of myrth is oure 
Euer lastyng glad / to mede may we fang, 

1 ' That euer yit I hard' was originally "he spake vpward," from 
1. 649, but this has been crossed out with red ink. 

2 ' Croyne ' for ' crone ' 


138 Towneley Plays. XIII. Shepherds' Play, II. 

Though they 
be wet & 
weary, they 
must see 
that child & 
that lady. 

The 2nd 
recalls the 
of David and 

[1 This is of 
course for 
1 Ecce.'] 

If Daw could 
once kneel 
"before that 
child it 
would ever 
he well with 

The 1st 

& prophets 
have desired 
to see this 

[Fol. 46, a. 

Sig. H. 4.] 

'Twas pro- 
mised He 
appear to 
the poor. 

' noyse. 669 

primus pastor, hy we theder for thy ; 
If we be wete and wery, 
To that 1 chyld and that lady 

we haue if not to lose. 673 

ij\is pastor, we fynde by the prophecy — / let* be youre 
dyn — 
Of dauid and Isay / and mo then I myn, 
Thay prophecyed by clergy / that 1 in a vyrgyn 
shuld? he lyght 1 and ly / to slokyn oure syn 

And slake if, 678 

Oure kynde from wo ; 
ffor Isay sayd so, 
Cite 1 virgo 

Concipiet 1 a chylde that is nakyd. 682 

iij pastor. ffuH glad may we be / and abyde that 1 day 
That lufly to se / that 1 aft myghtys may. 
lord? weH were me / for ones and for ay, 
Myght 1 1 knele on my kne / som word for to say 

To that 1 chylde. 687 

Bot 1 the angeH: sayd, 
In a cryb wos he layde ; 
he was poorly arayd 

Both mener and mylde. 691 

jprimus pastoi. patryarkes that 1 has bene / and propheta/s 
Thay desyryd to haue sene / this chylde that 1 is borne. 
Thay ar gone full clene / that 1 haue thay lorne. 
We shall se hym, I weyn /^or it be morne, 

To tokyn. 696 

"When I se hym and fele, 
Then wote I fuH weyft 
It 1 is true as steyH 

That 1 propheta/s haue spokyn. 700 

To so poore as we ar / that 1 he wold appere, 
ffyrst fynd, and declare / by his messyngere. 

Townehy Plays. XIII. Shepherds' Play, II. 139 

//us pastor. Go we now, let vs fare / the place is vs nere. They pray 

"... J 3 j / • * God they 

?/;us pastor. I am redy and yare / go we m iere may have 

To that bright*. 705 comfort His 

Lord, if thi wylles be, 

we ar lewde aH thre, 

Thou grauntt vs somkyns gle 

To comfortfi. thi wight. [They enter the stable.] 

primus pastor. hayH, comly and clene ! / hayH, yong The 1st 

, ., t , shepherd 

child ! bids the 

hayH, maker, as I meyne, / of a madyn so mylde ! Scoffers 

Thou has waryd, I weyne / the warlo so wylcle ; SfSerate*" 

The fals gyler of teyn / now goys he begylde. 

lo, he merys ; 714 

lo, he laghys, my swetyng, 
A welfare metyng, 
I haue holden my hetyng ; 

haue a bob of cherys, 718 

^)'us pastor. hayH, sufferan sauyoure ! / ffor thou has vs The 2nd ' 

-I ■_. , shepherd 

SOgnt? I brings Him 

hayH, frely foycle and noure / that 1 aft thyng has wroght ! a bird ' 

hayH, fuH of fauoure / that 1 made aH of noght 1 ! 

hayH ! I kneyH and I cowre. / A byrd haue I broght 1 

To my barne. 723 

hayH, lytyH tyne mop ! 
of oure crede thou art crop : 
I wold drynk on thy cop, 

LytyH day starne. 727 

iijus pastor. hayH, derlyng dere / fuH of godhede ! Daw's heart 

I pray the be nere / when that 1 I haue nede. Him so 

hayH ! swete is thy chere ! / my hart* wold* blede Kere ' 

To se the sytt here / in so poore wede, 

With no peraiys. 732 

hayH ! put furth thy daH ! 
I bryng the bott a batt : 
haue and play the with aft, 

And go to the tenys. 736 

140 Toivnelef Plays. XIV. Offering of the Magi. 

Mary pro- 
mises to 
pray her Son 
to keep them 
from woe. 

[Fol. 46, b.] 
The shep- 
herds go 
their way 

Maria. The fader of heuen / god omnypotenfr. 
That 1 sett aH on seuen, / his son has he sent. 
My name conth he neuen / and lyght 1 or he went 1 . 
I conceynyd hym fuH euen / thrugft myghtt as he meat 1 , 

And now is he borne. 741 

he kepe you fro wo ! 
I shaH pray hym so ; 
Tell furth as ye go, 

And myn on this morne. 745 

primus pastor. ffareweH, lady / so fare to beholde, 
with thy childe on thi kne ! / 

ijus pastor. hot 1 he Ijgys f uH cold, 

lord, weH is me / now we go, thou behold. 

iijus pastor, ffor sothe aH redy / if semys to be told 

fuH oft. 750 

primus pastoi. what 1 grace we haue fun. 
ijus pastov. Com furth, now ar we won. 
iijus pastor. To syng ar we bun) : 

let take on loft. 754 

Explicit pagina Pastorum. 

Herod calls 
for silence. 


Incipit oblacz'o magorum. 

[Dramatis Personae. 

Primus Rex, Jaspar. 
Secundus Rex, Melchior. 

Tercius Rex, 

[One 12-line stanza (no, 100), ab ab ab abc ddc ; 105 six-line stanzas, 
aaab ab, except stanza 72, ab ab ab, and one A-line stanza 22, aaab. 

herodes. (1) 

Easse, I byd, both far and nere, 
I warne you leyf youre sawes sere ; 
who that msikys noyse whyls I am here, 

I say, shaH dy. 
Of aH this warld, sooth, far & nere, 
The lord am I. 


Toivneley Plays. XIV. Offering of the Magi. 141 

Lord am I of euery land, 
Of towre and towne, of se and sand ; 
Agans me dar noman stand, 

That 1 berys lyfe ; 
AH erthly thyng bowes to my hand, 

Both man and wyfe. 


Man and wyfe, that 1 warne I you, 
That 1 in this warld? is lyfand now, 
To mahowne & me all shall bow, 

Both old? and ying ; 
On hym wyH I ich man trow, 

ffor any thyng. 


ffor any thyng it 1 shall be so ; 

lord ouer aH where I go, 

who so says agane, I shall hym slo, 

where so he dwell ; 
The feynd, if he were my fo, 

I shuld* hym feH. 

To feH those fatures I am bowne, 
And dystroy those dogys in feyld? and towne 
That 1 wiH not 1 trow on sant 1 Mahowne, 

Onre god so swete ; 
Those fals faturs I shall feH downe 

Vnder my feete. • 

Vnder my feete I shaH thaym fare, 
Those ladys that 1 wiH [not] lere my lare, 
ffor I am myghty man ay whare. 

Of ilk a pak ; 
Clenly shapen, hyde and hare, 

w^t/ioutten lak. 

The myght 1 of me may no man mene, 
ffor aH [that] dos me any teyn, 










He is lord of 
every land. 

All shall 
bow to 

He would 
slay the 
fiend if he 


[Fol. 47, a.] 
He will lay 
low all who 
believe in 

He is a 
mighty man, 

shapen, hide 
& hair. 

142 Towneley Plays. XIV. Offering of the Magi. 

He will ding 
down all 
who give 
him trouble. 

So he will 
send to see 
if there be 
any traitors 
in the land. 

He bids his 


& spy if 
there be any 
who trow 
not on 

If there be, 
he will flay 

The messen- 
ger offers to 
kill them, 
but Herod 
bids him 
bring them 
to him. 

I shall dyng thaym downe bydeyn, 

And w.yrk thaym wo ; 
And on assay it 1 shall be seyn, 

Or I go. 






And therfor wiH I send and se 
In aH this land, full hastely, 
To looke if any dwelland he 

In towre or towne, 
That 1 wyH not hold' holly on me, 

And on mahowne. 


If ther be fonden any of tho, 

with bytter payn I shall theym slo ; [To the messenger.] 

My messynger, swyth looke thou go 1 

Thrugh ilk countre, 
In all this land, both to and fro, 

I commaunde the ; 

And truly looke thou spyr and spy, — 
In euery stede ther thou commys by, — 
who trowes not 1 on mahowne most myghty, 

Oure god so f re ; 
And looke thou bryng theym hastely 

heder vnto me. 


And I shall fownd thaym for to flay, 
Those laddys that 1 wiH not* lede oure lay ; 
Therfor, boy, now I the pray 
That 1 thou go tytt. 
Nuncius. If shal be done, lord, if I may, 
wfc'tftoutten lett : 

And ceitys, if I may any fynde, 
I shall not 1 leyfe oone of them behynde. 
herodes. No, bot 1 boldly thou thaym bynde 
And with the leyde : 
Mahowne, that weldys water and wynde, 
The wish and spede ! 









1 In the MS. this line reads 
thou go. " 

My messynger [lord] swyth looke 

Towneley Plays. XI V. Offering of the Magi. 


Nuncius. AH peasse, lordyngT/s, and hold* you styH, 
To I haue sayde what 1 1 wiH ; 
Take goode hede Ynto my skyH, 

Both old? and ying ; 76 

In message what is cowmen you tyU 

firom herode, the kyng. 78 

he cowmaund?/s you, euerilkon, 
To hold no kyng bot 1 hym alon, 
And othere god ye worship none 

Bot mahowne so fre ; 82 

And if ye do, ye mon be slone ; 

Thus told? he me. 84 

Tunc venit ] piinms rex equitans ; & respieiens stellam dicit, 

primus rex. Lord, of whom this light* is lent 1 , 
And vnto me this sight" has sent 1 , 
I pray to the, with good intent 1 , 

ffrom shame me shelde ; 88 

So that I no harmes hent 

By way[e]s wylde. 90 

Also I pray the specyally, 
Thou graunt 1 me grace of company, 
That 1 I may haue som beyldyng by, 

In my trauayH : 94 

And, eerfa/s, for to lyf or dy 

I shall not fayfl, 96 

To that 1 1 in som land haue bene, 
To wyt what 1 this starne may mene, 
That 1 has me led, with bemys shene, 

ffro my cuntre ; 100 

Now weynd I wilt, w*'t7ioiitten weyn, 

The sothe to se. 102 

See\mdus rex. A ! lord, that 1 is wit/toutten ende ! 
whens euer this selcouth light dyscende, 

The messen- 
ger cries 
silence for 
the king's 
[Fol. 47, b.] 

Herod is the 
only king, & 
the only god 
to be wor- 

The first 
king prays 
God shield 
him from 

& give him 
grace of 

till he has 
found the 
meaning of 
this guiding 

144 Towneley Plays. XIV. Offering of the Magi. 

The 2nd king 
what the 
light may 

He will 
never rest 
till he know 
whence it 

The kings 
accost each 
other. The 
2nd king has 
come from 
Araby, and 
is called 

The 1st is 
•Jaspar, kin^ 
of Tars. 

[Fol. 48, a.] 
They praise 
God for the 





That thus kynclly has me kende 

Oute of my land, 
And shewyd to me ther I can leynd, 

thus bright 1 shynand 1 


Ceitys, I sagh neuer none so bright ; 
I shall neuer ryst by day nor nyght, 
To I wyt whens may com this lyght, 

And from what 1 place ; 
he that 1 it 1 send vnto my sight 

leyne me that 1 grace ! 

primus rex. A, sir, wheder ar ye away 1 
TeH me, good sir, I you pray. 

£ecun^us rex. Ceitys, I trow, the sothe to say, 
None wote bott I ; 
I haue folowed yond f starne, veray, 
ffrom araby ; 

fFor I am kyng of that cuntre, 
And rnelchor thei J caH men me. 
jpiimus rex. And kyng, sir, was I wont* to be, 
In tars, at hame, 
Both of towne and cyte ; 
Iaspar is my name ; 

The light* of yond starne sagh I thedyr. 

Secxmdus rex. That lord be louyd that 1 send me hedyr ! 
fHor it 1 will grathly ken vs whedyr, 

that 1 we shall weynd; 130 

we owe to loue hym both togedyr, 

That 1 it 1 to vs wold send. 132 





The 3rd king 
comes on, 
at the star's 

. (23) 

Tercius rex. A, lord ! in land what 1 may this mene % 
So selcouth sight 1 was neuer sene, 
Sich a starne, shynand so shene, 

Sagh I neuer none ; 
If gyli'ys lyght 1 ouer aU, bedene, 
By hym alone. ^ 




[Turns to the Magi.] 


He sees the 
other kings 

Toioneley Plays. XIV. Offering of the Magi 14i 

What 1 it 1 may mene, that 1 know I noght 1 ; 
Bot 1 yonder ar two, me thynk, in thoght 1 , 
I thank hym that thaym heder has broght* 

Thus vnto me ; 
I shall assay if thay wote oght 

what* it* may be. 

lordyngys, that 1 ar leyf and dere, 
I pray you teH me with good chere 
wheder ye weynd, on this manere, 

And where that 1 ye haue bene ; 
And of this starne, that 1 shynys thus clere, 

what 1 it 1 may mene. 

• (26) 
primus rex. Syr, I say you certanly, 
ffrom tars for yond starne soght haue I. 
ijus rex. To seke yond light from araby, 

sir, haue I went 1 . 154 

iijus rex. Now hertely I thank hy??z for-thy, 

That 1 it 1 has sent. 156 

& asks them 
the meaning 
of the star. 


They say 
they have 
come from 
Tars and 
Araby to 
seek it. 


primus rex. Good sir, what cuntre cam ye fra ? 
iijus rex. This light 1 has led me fro saba ; 
And balthesar', my name to say, 

The so the to teH. 
ijus rex. And? kyngfc's, sir, are we twa, 

Ther as we dwell. 



The third 
king is 
named Bal- 
thasar and 
comes from 

iijus rex. Now, syrs, syn we ar semled here, 
I rede we ryde togeder, in fere, 
vnto we wytt, on aH manere, 

ffor good or jE, 
what 1 it 1 may mene, this sterne so clere 

Shynand vs tyli. 

primus rex. A, lor&yngys ! behold* the lyght 
Of yond' starne; with bemys bright ! 



He proposes 
that they 
shall all ride 

Jaspar is 
amazed at 

146 Towneley Plays. XIV. Offering of the Magi. 

the star's 

[Pol. 48, b.] 

The star is 
than the sun 
or moon. 


notes its " 
nearness to 
the earth. 

ffor sothe I sagh neuer sich a sight 

In no-kyns land ; 
A starne thus, aboute mydnyght, 

so bright 1 shynand. 

It 1 gyfys more light it* self alone 
Then any son that 1 euer shone, 
Or mone, when he of son has ton 

his light 1 so cleyn ; 
Sich selcouth sight 1 haue I sene none, 

what so euer it 1 meyn. 


Secundus rex. Behold, lovdyngys, vnto his pase, 
And se how nygh the erth hit gase ; 
It 1 is a tokyn that 1 it mase 

Of nouelry ; 
A merueH it is, good tent 1 who tase, 

Now here in hy. 

ffor sich a starne was neuer ere seyn, 
As wyde in warld as we haue beyn, 
ffor blasyng bemys, shynand f uH sheyn, 

ffrom hit ai J sent 1 ; 
MerueU I haue what 1 it 1 may meyn 

In myn intent. 

Tercius rex. Cevtys, syrs, the sothe to say, 
I shaH dyscry now, if I may, 
what 1 it 1 may meyn, yond starne veray, 

Shynand tytt vs ; 
It 1 has bene sayde syn many a day 
It 1 shuld' be thus. 

The star be- yond starne betokyns, weH wote I, 
birth of a The byrth of a prynce, syrs, securly, 
less the rules That 1 shewys weH the prophecy 

ofastronomv „. . , 

deceive him. Ihat it SO be ; 

Or els the rewlys of astronomy 
Dyssauys me. 




He marvels 
what it may 


Balthasar re- 
that this has 
been fore- 



All folk shall 
obey the star 

Towneley Plays. XIV. Offering of the Magi. 147 

primus rex. Certan, balaam spekys of this thyng, jaspar re- 

That 1 of Iacob a starne shall spryng piiecyof 1 '™" 

That 1 shaH ouercom kasar and kyng, 

WMoutten stryfe ; 208 

AH folk shalbe to hym obeyng 

That berys the lyfe. 210 of Jacob, 

Now wote I weH this is the same, Doubtless 

In Query place he shaH haue hame, and ail shall 

AH shaH hym bo we that 1 berys name, Him. 

In ilk cuntre; 214 

who trowys it 1 not 1 , thay ar to blame, 

what 1 so thay be. 216 

ijus rex. Certys, lordyng?/s, fuH weH wote I, Meichior 

ff ulfyllyd* is now the prophecy ; thSepro- 

That 1 prynce that 1 shaH ouer com in hy f$£{ is ful " 

kasar and kyng, 220 

This starne berith witnes, wytterly, 

Of his beryng. 222 

(38) _ 
iijus rex. Now is f ulfyllyd here in this land So also Bai- 

Thatt balaam sayd, I vnderstand ; 
Now is he borne that 1 se and sand [Foi. 49, a.] 

Shalt weyld? at wyH : 226 

That 1 shewys this starne, so bright 1 shynand, 

vs thre vntyH. 228 

pvbims rex. Lordyng?/s, I rede we weynd aH thre Jaspar pro- 

ffor to wyrship that 1 chyld* so f re, they ail 

T iiii in three s° & 

In tokyn that 1 he kyng shalbe worship the 

r\c n i ^r. child. His 

Ui alkyn thyng ; 232 own offering 

This gold 1 now wyH I bere with me, gold. 

To myn ofFeryng. 234 

fc/us rex. Go we fast 1 , syrs, I you pray, 
To worship hym if that 1 we may ; . 

1 The word "gold" is omitted, by mistake of the original copier, 

148 Towneley Plays. XIV. Offering of the Magi. 

Melchior is 
bringing in- 
cense in 
token that 
the child is 
very God. 

is bringing 
myrrh as a 
token of the 

Jaspar asks 
where the 
king is to be 

the star. 

Herod's mes- 
senger is re- 
proached for 
his long 

His tidings 
are good & 
ill, mingled 

I bryng rekyls, the sothe to say, 

here in myn hende, 238 

In tokyn that he [is] god veray, 

W^'t/ioutten ende. 240 

iijus rex. Syrs, as ye say right so I red ; 
hast 1 we tytt vnto that sted 
To wirship hym, as for oure hed, 

with oure offeryng ; 244 

In tokyn that 1 he shalbe ded, 

This Myrr I bryng. 246 

primus rex. where is that 1 kyng of lues land, 
That 1 shalbe lord 4 of se and sand, 
And folk shall bow vnto his hand 

Both more and myn] 250 

■ To wyrship hym with oure offerand 

we wyH not blyn. 252 

ijus rex. we shall not 1 rest 1 , euen nor morne, 
vnto we com ther he is borne. 
iijus rex. ffolowe this light 1 , els be we lorne, 

ffor sothe, I trowe, 256 

That 1 frely to we com beforne ; 

Syrs, go we now. 258 

[The kings retire. Herod and his messenger advance.'] 
~Nuncius. Mahowne, that 1 is of greatt 1 pausty, 
My lord, sir herode, the saue and se ! 
herodes. where has J?ou bene so long fro me, 

Vyle stynkand lad 1 262 

Nuncius. Lord, gone youre herand* in this cuutre, 

As ye me bad. 264 

Hero&. Thou lyys, lurdan, the clewiH the hang ! 
why has thou dwelt 1 away so lang 1 
Nuricius. lord* ye wyte me aH with wrang. 

Herodes. what ty thy ngys 1 say! 268 

JSfuncius. Som good, som yH, mengyd emang. 

liero&. howl I the pray. 270 

Towneley Plays. XIV. Offering of the Magi. ' 149 

Do teH me fast 1 how thou has fame ; 
Thy waryson shaH thou not 1 thame. 
Nuncius. As I cam walkand, I you warne, 

Lord 1 , by the way, 
I met* thre 1 kyngis sekeand a barne, 

Thus can thay say. 


Her odes. To seke a barne ! for what thyng 1 

Told' thay any new ty thyng 1 

NunciuB. yey, lord* ! thay sayd he shuld? be kyiig 

Of towne and towre ; 
ffor thy thay went, with thare offeryng, 

hym to honoure. 

herodt. Kyng ! the dewiH ! bot 1 of what 1 empyre 1 
Of what 1 land shuld that lad be syre 1 
Nay, I shall with that 1 trature tyre ; 

Sore sharl he rewe ! 
Nuncius. lord, by a starne as bright 1 as fyre 

This kyng thay knew ; 


If led thaym outt 1 of thare cuntre. 

Herod, we, fy ! fy ! dewyls on thame aH thre ! 

he shaH neuer haue myght 1 to me, 

That 1 new borne lad ; 
when thare wytt 1 in a starne shuld be, 

I hold thaym mad. 

Those lurdans wote not 1 what 1 thay 2 say; 
Thay ryfe my hede, that 1 dar I lay ; 
Ther dyd no tythyng^s many a day, 

Sich harme me to ; 
ffor wo my wytt 1 is aH away ; 

what 1 shaH I do ? 

[Fol. 49, b.] 

2/4 He has met 
three kings 
seeking a 

276 cMld ' 

who, they 
said, should 
2iO\) be a king. 


Herod will 
make the 
child rue. 


The mes- 
senger tells 
288 of the star. 






thinks the 
three kings 

he is greatly 

1 MS. iij. 

2 "Thay" is overlined, but the original word 

150 Towneley Plays. XIV. Offering of the Magi. 


why, what the dewyli is in thare harnes 1 
Is thare wytf ail in the staruos 1 
These tythyngis mar my mode in ernes ; 

And of this thyng 
To wytt the sothe, full sore me yarnes, 

Of this new kyng. 

Kyng 1 what 1 the dewyH, other then I ! 
we, fy on dewyls ! fy, fy ! 
Cert?/*, that 1 boy shaH dere aby ! 

his ded is dight ! 
ShaH he be kyng thus hastely 1 

who the dewiH made hym knyght 1 

Alas, for shame ! this is a skorne ! 
Thay fynde no reson thaym beforne ; 
Shuld that 1 brodeH, that 1 late is borne, 

Be most 1 of mayn 1 
Nay, if the dewyli of heH had sworne, 

he shaH agane. 

[Foi. 50, a.] Alas, alas ! for doyH and* care ! 

So mekyH sorow had I neuer are ; 
If it 1 be sothe, for euer mare 
I am vndoyn ; 

and would 
fain find out 
the truth 
about this 
new king. 

Herod won- 
ders, if the 
child is to be 
king so soon, 
who the 
devil made 
him knight. 

He con- 
tinues to 

resolves to 
seek the 
truth of 

learned men, Af good clerk?/s and wyse of lare 

I wyH wyt soyn. 


but first win Bot 1 fyrst 1 yifwiH I send and se 

send for the 

three kings The answere of those lurdans tnre. 

& question _ , 

them. Messyngere, tytt hy thou the, 





[Calls to messenger.] 

The messen- 
ger is sent 

And make the yare ; 
Go, byd those kjngys com speke with me, 
That 1 told thou of are. 

Say I haue greatt 1 heiand thaym tyH. 
Nuncius. If shalbe done, lord, af youre wyH, 



Townclcy Plays. XIV. Offering of the Magi. 


youre byddyng shaH I soyn fulfyH 

In ilk cuntre. 334 

Herod. Mahowne the shelde from aH kyns yH, 

ffor his pauste. 336 

[The messenger goes to where the Icings stand.] 
Nuncius. Mahowne you sane, sir kyngys thre, 
I haue message to you preue, 
ffrom herode, kyng of this cuntre, 

That 1 is oure chefe ; 340 

And lo, syrs, if ye trow not me, 

ye rede this brefe. 342 

primvLs rex. welcom be thou, belamy ! 
what 1 is his wyH 1 teH vs in hy. 
Nuncius. Cevtys, sir, that 1 wote not I, 

Bot 1 thus he sayde to me, 346 

That 1 ye shuld? com fuH hastely 

To hym aU thre, 348 

ffor nede herand, he sayd me so. 
Secundus rex. Messynger, before thou go, 
And teH: thi lord we ar aH thro 

his wyH to do ; 352 

Both I and my felose two 

ShaH com hym to. [The messenger returns to Herod.'] 
\ (60) 

Nuncius. Mahowne you looke, my lord so dere. 
herod 1 . welcom be thou, messy ngere ! 
how has thou fame syn thou was here 1 

Thou teH me tytt. 
Nuncius. lord, I haue traueld' far and nere 

withoutten lett, 

And done youre herand*, sir, sothely ; 
Thre kyngis with me broghf haue I, 
ffro saba, tars, and araby, 

Then haue thay soght 1 . 364 

her odes. Thi wary son shaH thou haue for thy, 

By hym me boght* ; 366 



He hails tb 
kings in 

and exhibits 
his "brief." 

The kings ' 
are to come 
to Herod at 


bids the 


return & 




Herod wel- 
comes the 

who an- 
nounces his 
success, & 
is promised 
a reward. 

152 Towneley Plays. 'XIV. Offering of the Magi. 

the readiness 
of the kings 
to obey 

[Fol. 50, b.] 

Herod ques- 
tions them 
the token in 
the sky. 

Jaspar re- 
counts the 
rising of the 
star in the 


says that by 
the star they 
knew of the 
child's birth. 

laments & 
desires his 
learned men 

to search 
their books 

And, certanly, that* is good sky!}, 
And syrs, ye ar welcom me tyfh 
iijus rex. Lord, thi bydyng to fulfyli 

[The three kings come to Herod.'] 
Are we furl thro. 370 

herodes. A, rnekyH thank of youre good wyH 

That 1 ye wyH so. 372 

fTor, certys, I haue couett greattly 
To speke with you, and here now why : 
TeH me, I pray you specyally, 

fTor any thyng, 376 

what 1 tokynyng saw ye on the sky 

Of this new kyng ? 378 

jprimus rex. we sagh his starne ryse in the eest 1 , 
That* shall be kyng of man and best 1 , 
fTor thy, lord, we haue not cest, 

Syn that 1 we wyst 1 , 382 

with oure gyftys, riche and? honest, 

To bere that 1 blyst. 384 

{jus rex. lord', when that 1 starne rose vs beforne, 
Ther by we knew that 1 chyld was borne. 
herodes. Out, alas, I am forlorne 

fTor euer mare ! 388 

I wold! be rent and al to-torne 

fTor doyH and care ! 390 

Alas, alas, I am furl wo ! 
Syr kyngys, syt downe, & rest you so, 
By scrypture, syrs, what 1 say ye two 1 [To the doctors.] 

w^t7ioutten lytt ; 394 

what ye can say ther to 

let se now tytt. 396 

These kyngT/s do me to vnderstand, 
That 1 borne is newly, in this land, 

for a pro- 
phecy of any 
such king. 

They pro- 
mise a 

Townclcy Plays. XI V. Offering of the Magi. 153 

A kyng that 1 shaH weld' so and sand ; 

Thay teH me so ; 400 

And therfor, syrs, I yon commaunde 

youre hookys go to, 402 

And looke grathly, for any thyng, 
If ye fynd oghfr of sich a kyng. 
jprimiiia consultus & doctov. If shaH be done at 1 yonre 

. ^yciyng, 

By hym me boght 1 , 406 

And soyn we shari yon tythyng?/s bryng 

If we fynd? oghtt. 408 

ijus conswftus & doctor. Soyn shaH we wyt, lord, if I may, 
If oghtt be wretyn in oure lay. 
hei'od 1 . Now, masters, therof I yon pray 

On aH manere. 412 

primus conswZ^us. Com f urth, let vs assay 

Onre book?/s both in fere. 414 

ijns consultus. Ceitys, sir, lo, here fynd? I 
weH wretyn in a prophecy, 
how that 1 profetft Isay, 

That 1 nener begyld?, 418 

Tellys that 1 a madyn of hir body 

ShaH bere a chyld*. 420 

j?rimus consw^us. And also, sir, to yon I teH 
The meruellest 1 thyng that euer fell, 
Hyr madynhede with hir shaH dwell, 

As dyd beforne ; 424 

That child shaH hight ' emanueH ' 

when he is borne. 426 

«)'us conswZAis. lord, this is sothe, securely, 
wytnes the profett Isay. 1 
herod. Outtt, alas ! for doyH I dy, 

long or my day ! 430 

ShaH he haue more pauste then I *? 

A, waloway ! 432 

1 The expected ryme acta is turnd into aba. 

& consult 
their books 

The 2nd 
doctor finds 
a prophecy 
in Isaiah of 
a virgin 
bearing a 

The 1st 
doctor says 
He shall be 

[Fol. 51, a. 
Sig. I. i.j 



He bids 
them look 
where the 
boy shall be 

The doctors 
must be 
quick or 
Herod will 
go mad. 

They say 
that accord- 
ing to the 
Micah a 
duke shall 
come forth 
from Beth- 

Therefore in 
is the king 

Herod curses 
them for 
their news. 

They bid him 
read for him- 

It is so 

Towneley Plays. XIV. Offering of the Magi. 

Alas, alas, I am forlorne ! 
I wold? be rent 1 and at! to torne ; 
Bot 1 looke yit 1 , as ye dycl' belbrne, 

ffor luf of me ; 436 

And. teH me where that 1 boy is borne ; 

Onone lett se. 438 

£>ri??ius consz^us. AH redy, lord, with mayn & mode. 
herod. haue done belyf 1 , or I go wode ; 
And, cevtys, that 1 gadlyng wer* as good 

haue greuyd me noght 1 ; 442 

I sharl se that 1 brodeH bloode, 

By hym that 1 me has boghf ! 444 

ijus consuUxxs. Micheas the prophett, wzt7iOutten nay, 
how that he tellys I sharl you say ; 
In bedlem, land of Iuda, 

As I say you, 448 

Out of it 1 a duke sharl spra ; 

Thus fynd we now. 450 

primus consultus. Syr, thus we lyiid? in prophecy : 
Therfor we say you, securely, 
In bedlem, we say you truly, 

Borne is that 1 kyng. 454 

herodl. The devviH hang you high to dry, 

ffor this tythyng ! 456 


And cevtys ye ly ! it may not be ! 

ijus consultus. lord, we wytnes it truly ; 

here the sothe youre self may se, 

If ye can rede. 460 

he?*od l . A, waloway ! furl wo is me ! 

The dewirl you spede ! 462 

primus consultus. lord, it 1 is sothe, aH that we say, 
We fynde it wretyn in oure lay. 

Towneley Plays. XIV. Offering of the Magi. 155 

herod 1 . Go hens, harloth/s, in twenty l dewiH way, 

{fast 1 and belyfe ! 
Mighty mahowne, as he weH may, 

lett you neue?* thryf e ! 

Alas, wherto were I a crowne 1 
Or is cald of greatt renowne 1 
I am the fowlest borne downe 

That euer was man ; 
And? namely with a fowH swalchon, 



Herod curses 
all the more. 

That 1 no good can. 





[Turns to the kings.] 



Alas, that euer I shuld be knyght, 
Or holdyn man of mekyll myghfr , 
If a lad shuld* reyfe me my right 

AH thus me fro ; 
Myn dede ere shuld I dyght, 

Or iV were so. 

ye nobyH kyng?/s, harkyns as heynd ! 
ye shaH haue saue condyth to weynd ; 
Bot 1 com agane with me to leynd, 

Syrs, I you pray; 
ye shall me fynd a faythfuH freynd, 
^If ye do swa. 

If it 1 be sothe, this new tythyng, 
Som worship wold I do that 1 kyng, 
Therfor I pray you that ye bryng 

Me tythyng?/s soyn. 
j?vimus rex. AH redy, lord, at youre bydyng 

It shalbe doyn. [The kings mount their horses.'] 

ijus rex. Alas, in warld? how haue we sped ! 
wdiere is the lyght that vs has led 1 
Som clowde, for sothe, that 1 starne has cled 

ffrom vs away ; 
In strong stowre now ar we sted : 

what 1 may we say 1 

1 MS. xx. 




He laments 
his fate. 

[Pol. 51, b.] 

Alas that a 
lad should 
reive his 
right from 

He gives the 
kings a safe- 
conduct, but 
bids them 
come to him 

If this news 
be true he 
would fain 
do that king 
some wor- 

Jaspar pro- 
mises to do 
his bidding. 

notes that 
the star has 

156 Towneley Plays. XIV. Offering of the Magi. 


th rough 
whose guile 
they have 
lost sight of 
the star. 

Jaspar sug- 
gests that 
they pray to 
the lord 
whose birth 
the star be- 
tokens, that 
he show it to 
them again. 




[Fol. 52, a. 
Sig. I. ij.] 
The star re- 
appears, & 
he expresses 
Ins love & 

iijvLS rex. wo worth herode, that 1 cursyd wyght ! 
wo worth that tyrant 1 day and nyght ! 
ffor thrugh hym haue we lost 1 that 1 sight, 

And for his gyle, 502 

That* shoyn to vs with bemys bright 

within a whyle. 504 

here lyghtys the Icyngjs of thare horses. 
primus rex. lordyng?/s, I red* we pray aft thre 
To that 1 lord, whose natynyte 
The starne betokyned that we can se, 

AH with his wyll ; , 508 

pray we specyally that 1 he 

wold' show it vs vntyrl 510 

here Jcnele aE thre Jcyngys downe. 1 
ijus rex. Thou chyld*, whose myght 1 no tong may teH, 
As thou art lord of heuen and heH, 
Thy nobyH starne, ernanuerl, 

Thou send vs yare ; 514 

That 1 we may wytt 1 by fyrth and feH 

how we shaH fare. 516 

iijus rex. A, to that chyld be euer honoure, 
That in this tyd has stynt oure stoure, 
And lent vs lyght to oure socoure, 

On this manere ; 
we loue the, lord of towne and towre, 
holly in fere. 

here ryse thay aR vp. 
we owe to loue hym ouer all thyng, 
That thus has send vs oure askyng ; 
Behold?, yond starne has made stynyng, 

Syrs, securly ; 526 

Of this chyld? shall we haue knowyug, 

I hope, in hy. 528 

1 "the " has been inserted in the MS. after " all " by a later hand, 
but seems unnecessary. 



Towndey Plays. XIV. Offering of the Magi. 157 

ijws rex. lordyngys dere, drede thar vs noglit, 
Oure greatt trauell tyll end is broght ; 
yond? is the place that we haue soght 

ffrom far cuntre ; 
yond is the chyld? that 1 aH has wroght, 

Behold? and se ! 



Melchior re- 
that their 
travel is at 
an end & the 
child near at 

u)'us rex. I red we make offeryng, aH: thre, 
vnto this chyld! of greatt 1 pauste, 
And worship hyra with gyftys fre 

That 1 we haue broght ; 
Oure boytt 1 of bayH ay wyH he be, 

weH haue we soght 1 . 



(91) [They enter the house.'] 
primus rex. hayH be thou, maker of aH kyn thyng ! 
That 1 boytt 1 of aH oure bayH may bryng ! 
In tokyn that 1 thou art oure kyng, 

And shalbe ay, 544 

Eesayf this gold? to myn offeryng, 

prynce, I the pray. 546 

?)'us rex. hayH, ouercomer of kyng and of knyghf ! 
That 1 fourmed fysh, and fowyH in flyght 1 ! 
lfor thou art 1 godz's son most of myght 1 , 

And aH weldand, 
I bryng the rekyls, as is right 1 , 

To myn orferand. 



iijus rex. hayH, kyng in kyth, cowrand on kne ! 
hayH, oone-fold* god? in persons thre I 
In tokyn that 1 thou dede shalbe, 

By kyndly skyH, 
To thy grauyng this myr of me 

Resaue the tyH. 

Maria. Syr kjngys, make comforth you betweyn, 
And merueH not 1 what 1 it may niene ; 



proposes to 
make their 
offerings at 

Jaspar offers 
the child 
gold in token 
of his king- 

offers in- 
cense in 
token of his 

offers myrrh 
in token of 
his death. 

Mary tells 
them of her 

158 Towncley Plays. XIV. Offering of the Magi. 

might. She 
is his mother 
& yet a clean 

Mary bids 
them pro- 
claim this 
they go. 

[Fol. 52, b.] 

She Messes 
the kings. 

Jaspar says 
they have 
made a good 

says they 
have rested 
little, let 
them take 
a sleep he- 
fore they go. 

Here is a 
litter ready 
for them. 

bids the 
others get to 
bed first. 

This chyld?, that on me borne has bene, 

AH bayrt may blyn ; 562 

I am his moder, and madyn clene 

withoutten syn. 564 

Therfor, lordyng?/s, where so ye fare, 
Boldly looke ye teH ay whare 
how I this blyst 1 of bosom bare, 

That 1 bestt shalbe ; 568 

And madyn cleyn, as I was are, 

Thrugri his pauste. 570 


And truly, syrs, looke that 1 ye trow 
That 1 othere lord is none at-lowe ; 
Both man and beesfr to hym shall bowe, 

In towne and feyld ; 574 

My blyssyng, syrs, be now -with you 

where so ye beyld?. 576 

primus rex. A, lordyng?/s dere ! the sothe to say, 
we haue made a good Iornay ; 
we loue this lord, that 1 shall last ay 

with outten ende ; 580 

he is oure beyld', both nyghtt and day, 

where so we weynd. . 582 

ijus rex. loidyngys, we haue traueld* lang, 
And restyd haue we lytyU emang, 
ffor-thi I red now, or we gang, 

with aH oure mayn 586 

et vs fownde a slepe to fang ; 

Then were I fayn ; 588 

ffor in greatfr stowres we haue ben sted. 
lo, here a lytter redy cled. 
^'us rex. I loue my lord ! we haue weH sped?, 

To rest 1 with wyn ; 592 

lordyng?/s, syn we shall go to bed, 

ye shall begyn. [They sleep: an angel appears above.] 

Tmmidey Plays. XIV. Offering of the Magi. 159 

Angelus. Syr curtes kyngv/s, to me take tent, 

And turne by tyme or ye be tenyd \ 
ffrom god bis self thus am I sent 

To warne you, as youre faythfutt freynd, 
bow herode kyng has malyce mentf, 

And sbapys with shame you for to sbeynd 
And so that 1 ye no harmes hent, 
By othere ways god wyH ye weynd 
Into youre awne cuntre ; 
And if ye ask hym boyn, 
ffor this dede that ye haue done, 

youre beyld* ay wyH he be. [Exit] 




An angel 
warns tlie 
kings of 
Herod's evil 

He bids 
them return 
home by 
another way. 

^>ri??zus rex. wakyns, wakyns, lordyng/ys dere ! 
Cure d welly ng is no longer here ; 
An angeH spake tyH vs in fere \ 

Bad vs, as heynd, 
That we ne shuld', on no manere, 

home by herode weynd. 



wakes the 
others & 
tells them 
the angel's 


ijus rex. AH myghty god in trynyte, 
with hart 1 enterely thank I the, 
That 1 thyn angeH send tyH vs thre, 

And kend vs so, 
Oure fals fo man for to fle, 

That 1 wold' vs slo. 

iijus rex. We aght 1 to loue hym more and myn, 
That 1 comly kyng of aH man-kyn; 
I rew fuH sore that 1 we shaH twyn 

On this manere ; 
ffor co??^men we haue, with mekyH wyn, 

By wayes sere. 

primus rex. Twyn must vs nedys, syrs, permafay, 
And ilk on weynd' by dyuers way ; 

thanks the 
Trinity for 
this warn- 

[Fol. 53, a. 

QIQ Sig. I. iij.J 


is sorry they 
622 must part. 


Jaspar says 
they must 
take their 

160 Towneley Plays. XV. The Flight into Egypt. 

divers ways, 
& bids the 
others fare- 

finds his 
road & com- 
mends the 
other kings 
to heaven. 

also departs, 
1 .raying 
God's help 
against the 



This wyH me lede, the sothe to say, 

To 1 my cuntre ; 
ffor-thy, lorclyngi/s, now haue good day ! 

God with you be ! 

ijus rex. Cerfa/s, I must* pas by se and sand ; 
This is the gate, I vnderstand, 
That 1 wyH: me lede vnto my laud 

The right* way ; 
To god of heuen I you co??imaunde, 

And haue good day ! 

iijus rex. This is the way that I must 1 weynd ; 
Now god till vs his socoure send, 
And he, that 1 is withoutten end 

And ay shalbe, 
Saue vs from fowndyng of the feynd, 

ffor his pauste. 642 

Explicit oblacio trium Magoram. 




An angel 
bids Joseph 
awake, & 
warns him 
to flee from 

[Fol. 53, b.] 


• Incipit fugacio Iosep & Mane in egipfwm. 

[13 stanzas of 13 lines, abab aab aab, cbc ; 1 of 12 lines abab aab 
aa cbc] 


[Dramatis Personae : 
Josephus. Maria. 




wake, Ioseph, and take intent ! 

Thou ryse, and slepe nomare ! 
If thou WyH saue thy self vnshent 1 

ffownde the fast 1 to fare ; 
I am an angeH to the sent 1 , 
ffor thou shaH no harmes henfr, 
To each the outfr of care. 
If thou here longer lent, 
ffor rewth thou mon repent, 

1 MS. ty. 

Towncley Plays. XV. The Flight into Egypt. 1G1 

And rew it wonder saiv. 
Ioseph. A ! niygntffuH god, 
what 1 euer this inenf, 
so swete of toyn 1 1 


Angelus. lo, Ioseph, if is I, 
An angeH send to the. 
Ioseph.. we ! leyf, I pray the why 1 

what 1 is thy wyH with me 1 
Angelus. hens behufys the hy, 
And take with the mary, 

Also hir chyld so fre ; 
ffor herode dos to dy 
AH knaue chyldren, securly, 
with in two yere that* be 
Of eld?. 
Ioseph.. Alas, fuH wo is me ! 
where may we bey Id' 1 

10 Joseph won- 
ders at this 
sound so 
sweet of 


& why an 
angel is sent 
to him. 





The angel 
bids him 
flee, with 
Mary and 
her child, 
for Herod 
will kill all 
dren under 
two years. 

Angelus. TyH egypp shall thou fare 
with aH the myghfr thou may ; 
And, Ioseph, hold? the tbare, 

tyH I wyll the at 1 say. 
Joseph. This is a febyU fare, 
A seke man and a sare 

To here of sich a fray ; 
My bonys ar bursyd and? bare 
ffor to do ; I wold? if ware 
Comen my last 1 day 

TyH ende ; 
I ne wote which is the way ; 
how shall we weynde 9 


He is to go 
to Egypt and 
stay there 
till warned 
to return. 

grumbles, he 
is old and 
knows not 
oo the way. 



Angelus. Ther of haue thou no drede; 

weynd furth, & leyf thi dyn ; 
The way he shaU you lede, 

the kyng of aH man-kyn. 

The angel 
says the 
king of all 
shall lead 
. „ him, but 
4o Joseph still 

Note the absence of ryme. 


162 Towneley Plays. XV. The Flight into Egypt. 

thinks on his Ioseph.. That 1 heynd til vs take hede, 
ifebieness. ffor I had lytyH nede 

Sicrl bargans to begyn ; 46 

No wonder if I wede, 
I that 1 may do no dede ; 

how shuld I theder wyn 49 

ffor eld? 
I am fuH bare and thyn, 

And aH vnweld; 52 


Joseph is My fors me falys to fare, 1 [Mary ivith her Dale advances.] 
Mary. He and sight 1 that 1 I shuld' se. 

tells her they ^/r 

must flee. Mary, my darlyng dere, 

I am fuH wo for the ! 56 

Maria. A, leyf Ioseph, what 1 chere 1 
youre sorow on this manere 

It 1 mekiH meruels me. 59 

Ioseph. Oare noyes ar neghand? nere 
If we dweft longer here ; 

ffor-thi behofes vs fie, 62 

And flytt. 
Maria. Alas ! how may this be 1 

what 1 euer menys if 1 65 


[Foi. 54, a. Ioseph. It menys of sorow enoghe. 
Maria. A, dere Ioseph, how so ? 

Sig. I. 4.] 

angel has Ioseph. As I lay in a swogh, 


warned him 
that Herod 

ffuH sad slepand and thro, 69 

Eson. 1 ^ An angeH to me drogh, 

As blossom bright 1 on bogh, 

And told betwix vs two, 7 2 

That 1 herode wroght 1 greatfr wogh, 
And aH knaue children slogh 

In land that 1 he myght 1 to, 75 

That 1 feynd ! 
And he thy son wold? slo 

And shamely sheynd. 78 

1 The rynie needs ' fere.' 

Towncley Plays. XV. The Might into Egypt. 163 

Maria. My son 1 alas, for care ! 
who may my doyllys dyH % 
wo worth fals herode are ! 

my son why shuld' he spytt % 
Alas ! I lurk and dare ! 
To slo this barne I bare, 

what 1 wight 1 in warld* had wyft % 
his haif shuld be fuH sare 
Sichon for to fare, 

That* neuer yifr dyd yH, 
Ne thoghtt. 
Ioseph. Now leyfe mary, be styH ! 
This helpys noght ; 

If is no boytt to grete, 

truly wzt/ioutten trayn ; 
Oure bayH if may not boytt x 

bot weft more make oure payn. 
Maria. Alas ! how shuld? I lete 1 
My son that 1 is so swete 

Is soght for to be slayn ; 
ffuft gryle may I grete, 
My fomen and I mete ; 

Tell me, Ioseph, witJi mayn, 
youre red. 
Ioseph. Shortly swedyft vs this swayn, 
And fle hys clede. 

Maria, his ded wold I not se, 

ffor all this warld? to wyn ; 
Alas ! fuH wo were me, 

In two if we shuld* twyn ; 
My chyld* so bright of ble, 
To slo hym were pyte, 

And a fuH hedus syn. 
Dere Ioseph, what 1 red ye 1 
Ioseph. TyH egyp weynd shaft we ; 







Mary is 
aghast at 

Joseph says 
this helps 
9 1 nought. 

Mary asks 
his counsel. 


Joseph bids 
her swaddle 
the child 
~\f)A and flee. 

1 The ryme needs • bete ' or ' bey tt, ' remedy 

164 Towneley Plays. XV. The Flight into Egypt. 

They are to 
go to Egypt. 

There is 
nothing to 
say, but pack 
up quickly. 

[Fol. 54, b.] 

Mary calls to 
God to pro- 
tect them. 

She is full of 

Joseph says 
he may well 
be also. 
Why will not 
death slay 

Young men 
should be- 
ware, for 
wedding is 
making him 
all wan. 

ffor-thi let be thi dyn 

And cry. 
Maria, how shall we theder wyn 1 
Iosepfr. ffulle weft wote I ; 
The best wyse that 1 we may 

hast vs outt 1 of this here. 
Ther is noght els to say 

bot 1 tytt 1 pak vp oure gere ; 
ffor ferd of this affray, 
lett vs weynd hens away, 

Or 1 any do vs dere. 
Maria. Greatt god, as he weH: may, 
That 1 shope both nyght 1 and day, 
ffrom wandreth he vs were, 

And shame ; 
My chyld? how shuld* I bere 
So far from hame 1 


Alas ! I am full wo ! 

was neuer wyght 1 so wyH ! 
IosepU. God wote I may say so, 

I haue mater ther tyH ; 
ffor I may vnyth go 
To lede of land sich" two ; 

No wonder if I be wyH, 
And sythen has many a f o. 
A, why wyH no ded me slo % 

My lyfe I lyke yH 
And sare ; 

he that 1 aH doyls may dyH, 
he keyli my care ! 

So wyH a wyght as I, 

In warld* was neuer man ; 
howsehold* and husbandry 

ffuH sore I may it 1 ban ; 
That 1 bargan dere I by. 
yong men, bewar, red I : 

wedyng makys me aH wan. 













Toivnelcy Plays.' XV. The Flight into Egypt. 165 

Take me tlii brydyH, mary ; 
Tent* thou to that page grathly 
with aH: the craft 1 thou can ; 

And may 
he that this warld* began, 1 
wysh vs the way ! 

Maria. Alas, full wo is me ! 

Is none so wyH as I ! 
My hart 1 wold breke in thre, 

My son to se hym dy. 
Iosepfc.. we ! leyf mary, lett 1 be, 
And nothyng drede thou the, 

Bot 1 hard? hens lett vs hy ; 
To saue thi foode so fre, 
ffast 1 furth now lett vs fle, 
Dere leyf ; 
To mete with his enmy, 
It 1 were a greatf myschefe, 
And that 1 wold? I not wore, 2 
Away if we myght wyn ; 
My hart 1 wold? be fuH sore, 3 

In two to se you twyn. 
TyH egypp lett 1 vs fare ; 
This pak, tyH I com thare, 

To bere I shall not 1 blyn : 
ffor-thi haue thou no care ; 
If I may help the mare, 

Thou fynd?/s no fawte me in, 

I say. 
God blys you more and myn, 
And haue now all good day ! 

Explicit fug acio Iosep § marie in egvptum. 



Mary's heart 
■\ nr\ would break 
lOU in three to 

see her son 








Joseph com- 
forts her, but 
they must 
flee quickly. 

He will hear 
the pack and 
help her all 
he can. 

[Fol. 55, a.] 

] MS. beban. 

[ 2 ? wold?... ware,] 

[ 3 ? wold'...sare.] 


Townele?) Plays. XV L Herod the Great. 

Herod's nn 
begins a 
speech to 
the people 

They must 
attend to 
him or they 
will take 

Herod sends 
them greet- 
ing and com- 
mands them 
to be obedi- 
ent to him. 

Any treason 
shall be paid 
for twelve 
fold. He is 
now abashed 

Incipit magims Herodes. 

[57 nine-lined stanzas, aaaab cccb, {no. 6, has aaaaa ccca) with 
central rymes marlct by bars.] 

Primus Miles. 
Secundus Miles. 

[Dramatis Personae. 

Tercius Miles. 
Primus Consultus. 
Secundus Consultus. 


Prima Mulier. 
Secunda Mulier. 
Tercia Mulier.] 


Moste myghty mahowne / meng you with myrth ! 
Both of burgh and of towne / by fellys and by 
Both kyng with crowne / and barons of brith, 
That 1 radly wyH rowne / many greatt 1 gritn 

ShaH be happ. 5 

Take tenderly intent 1 
what 1 sondys ar sent 1 , 
Els h amies shall ye hent 1 , 

And lothes you to lap. 9 

Herode, the heynd kyng / by grace of mahowne, 
Of Iury, Iourmontyng / sternly with crowne, 
On ]yfe that 1 ar lyfyng / in towre and in towne, 
Gracyus you gretyng / cowimaundys you be bowne 

At 1 his bydyng; 14 

luf hym with lewte, 
drede hym, that 1 doughty ! 
he charges you be redy 

lowly at 1 his lykyng. 18 

What 1 man apon mold? / menys hym agane, 
Tytt teyn shaH be told, knyght 1 , sqwyere, or swayn ; 
Be he neuer so bold / byes he that bargan, 
Twelf thowsand fold / more then I sayn 

Towneley Plays. XVI. Herod the Great. 


May ye trast ; 
he is worthy wonderly, 
Selcouthly sory ; 
ffor a boy that 1 is borne her by 

Standys he abast 1 . 

(4) • 

A kyng thay hym call / and that 1 we deny ; 
how shuld! it 1 so fali / greatt 1 meraeR haue I ; 
Therfor ouer aH / Shall I make a cry, 
That 1 ye busk not to braft / nor lyk'e not 1 to ly 

This tyde ; 
Carpys of no kyng 
Bot herode, that lordyng, 
Or busk to youre beyhlyng, 

youre heedys for to hyde. 


He is Kyng of Kyngys / Kyndly I Knowe, 

Chefe lord of lordyng?/s / chefe leder of law, 

Ther wat?/s on his wjngys / that bold* bost 1 wyH blaw, 

Greatt 1 dukys downe dyngv/s / ffor his greatt aw, 

And hym lowtys. 
Tuskane and turky, 
All Inde and Italy, 
CecyH and surry, 

Prede hym and dowtys. 

ffrom paradyse to padwa / to mownt flascon ; 

firom egyp to mantua / vnto k emp tow ne ; 

ffrom sarceny to susa / to grece it abowne ; 

Both normondy and norwa / lowtys to his crowne ; 

his renowne 
Can no tong teH, 
fTrom heuen vnto hell ; 
Of hym can none spell 

Bot 1 his cosyn mahowne. 

he is the worthyest 1 of aH / barnes that 1 are borne ; 
ffree men ar his thrall / f uH teynfully torne ; 
Begyn he to braH / many men each skorne ; 
Obey must 1 we aH / or els be ye lorne 

'■£■ 6 about a now 
bom boy, 






wbo is called 
a king. 
No king 
must be 
spoken of 
but Herod. 



[Fol. 55, b.] 

He recites 



Only his 
can avail 
a.uainst him. 

All men 
must obey 
him or be 


Towneley Plays. XVI. Herod the Great 

He is now 
coming and 
must be wel- 
comed wor- 

He greets 
Herod, and 
says lie has 
called for 
silence for 

The people 
talk of a 
king and 
won't cease 

Herod says 
he will tame 
their talking. 

[Fol. 56, a.] 

He begins to 
rant, and 
1 lids them 
hearken on 
pain of 
bones and 

They are not 
to speak or 
•stir, till he 
has said his 

Attt onys. 59 

Downe dyng of youre knees, 
AH that 1 hym seys, 
Dysplesyd he beys, 

And byrkyn many bonys. 63 

here he commys now, I cry / that lord? I of spake ; 
ifast 1 afore wyH I hy / radly on a rake, 
And welcom hym worshipfully / laghyng with lake, 
As he is most worthy / and knele for his sake 

So low; 68 

Downe dernly to fall, 
as renk most 1 ryaH : 
hayH, the worthyest 1 of aH ! 

to the must* I bow ! [Herod advances."] 72 

hayH, luf lord ! lo / thi letters haue I layde ; 
I haue done I couth do / and peasse haue I prayd ; 
MekyH more therto / opynly dysplayd ; 
Bofr romoure is rasyd so / that 1 boldly thay brade 

Emangis thame ; 77 

Thay carp of a kyng, 
thay seasse not* sich chateryng. 
herodes. Bofr I shaH tame thare talkyng, 

And let 1 thame go hang thame : 81 

Styntt, brodels, youre dyn / yei, euerychon ! 
I red that 1 ye harkyn / to I be gone, 
ffor if I begyn / I breke ilka bone, 
And puH fro the skyn / the carcas anone, 

yei, perde ! 86 

Sesse aH this wonder, 
and make vs no blonder, 
ffor I ryfe you in sonder, 

Be ye so hardy. 90 


Peasse both yong and old / at 1 my bydyng, I red, 
ffor I haue aH in wold* / in me stand^s lyfe and dede ; 
who that 1 is so bold / I brane hym thrugh the hedc ; 
Speke not* or I haue told / what 1 I wiH in this stede ; 

Towncley Plays. XVI. Herod the Great. 


ye wote nott 95 

AH that* I wiH mefe ; 
Styr not 1 bot 1 ye haue lefe, 
fTor if ye do, I clefe 

you small as flesh to pott. 90 

My myrthes ar turned to teyn / my mekenes into Ire, His mirth is 

J J , • 7 • x p p turned to 

And all for oone I weyn / wwi-m 1 tare as tyre. grief because 

May I se hym. -with eyn / I shall gyf hym his hyre ; whose hones 

_ _ . T _. i>nii ne would 

Bot 1 I do as I meyn / I were a iu±i iewde syre break if he 

T -, A i could catch 

In wonys ; 1U4 him, 

had I that 1 lad in hand, 
As I am kyng in land, 
I shuld with this steyH brand 

Byrkyn aH his bonys. 108 

My name spryng?/s far and nere / the doughtyest, men me 

That 1 euer ran with spere / A lord and kyng ryaH \ 
what ioy is me to here / A lad to sesse my stall ! He is so 

If I this crowne may bere / that 1 boy shall by for aH. tales that 

t i i q "by God's 

I anger; 113 dear nails'* 

I wote not 1 what 1 dewiH me alys, i^eno^ 

Thay teyn me so with talys, longer. 

That 1 by gottys dere nalys, 

I wyH peasse no langer. 117 

what 1 dewiH ! me thynk I brast 1 / ffor anger and for teyn ; He fears 


kings are 
going to 
break their 
promise < 

I teH you, 122 

A boy thay sayd thay soght 1 , 
with offeryng that 1 thay broght 1 ; 
It 1 mefys my hart 1 right noght 1 

To breke his nek in two. 126 


Bot 1 be thay past 1 me by / by mahowne in heuen, i f th ey have 

I shaH, and that 1 in hy / set aH on sex and seuen ; 

I trow thyse kyng?/s be past 1 / that 1 here with me has beyn ; Ji,; " [i " 
Thay p?*omysed me fuH fast / or now here to be seyn, break the 

ffor els I shuld haue cast / an othere sleght 1 , I weyn ; 

passed by 


Towneley Plays. XVI. Herod the Great. 

hi in, he will 
set all things 
at sixes and 

[Fol. 56, b.] 

Trow ye a kyng as I / wiU snfrre thaym to neuen 
Any to haue mastry / hot* my self fuH euen % 

Nay, leyfe ! 
The dewiH me hang and draw, 
If I that loseU knaw, 
Bot 1 I gyf hym a blaw, 

That lyfe I shall hym reyfe. 



if any one ffor parels yit 1 I wold' / wyst 1 if thay were gone ; 
them, Herod And ye therof her told / I pray you say anone, 
report to" ° ffor and thay be so bold / by god that syttys in trone, 
The payn can not 1 be told / that 1 thay shall haue ilkon, 

ffor Ire ; 
Sich panys hard neuer man teH, 
ffor vgly and for feH, 
That 1 lucyfere in heU 

Thare bonys shall aH to-tyre. 



The first 
knight tells 
him that the 
kings have 
passed by 
another way. 

blames his 
knights for 
not having 
spied them. 

primua Miles. Lord, thynk not 1 iH if I / teH you how 

thay ar past 1 ; 
I kepe not 1 layn, truly / Syw thay cam by you last 1 , 
An othere way in hy / thay soght 1 , & that 1 fuH fast. 
Herodes. why, and ar thay past 1 me by 1 j we ! outt 1 ! for 
teyn I brast 1 ! 
we! fy! 149 

fly on the dewiH ! where may I byde 1 
Bot 1 fyght 1 for teyn and al to-chyde 1 ! 
Thefys, I say ye shuld haue spyde 

And told when thay went 1 by ; 153 


grumble at 
his threats. 


ye ar knyghtys to trast 1 ! / nay, losels ye ar, and thefys ; 
I wote I yelde my gast / so sore my hart 1 it 1 grefys. 
Seeimdus Miles, what nede you be abast? / ther ar uo 

greatt 1 myschefys 
ffor these maters to gnast. / 
Tem'us Miles. why put ye sich reprefys 

MS. alto chvde. 

Towneley Plays. XVI. Herod the Great. 


withowW cause 1 
Thus shuld ye not 1 thretfc vs, 
vngaynly to bete vs, 
ye shuld not 1 reliett vs, 

withoutt othere sawes. 

herodt. ffy, losels and lyars ! / lurdans ilkon ! 
Tratoures and well wars ! / knafys, bot 1 knyght?/s none ! 
had ye bene woth youre eres / thus had thay nut 1 gone ; 
Gett 1 I those land lepars / I breke ilka bone ; 

ffyrst 1 vengeance 
Shall I se on thare bonys ; 
If ye bycle in these wonys 
I shall dyng you with stony s, 

yei, ditizance doutance. 

I wote not where I may sytf / for anger & for teyn ; 
we haue not done aH yit 1 / if if be as I weyn ; 
ffy ! dewift ! now how is it % j as long as I haue eyn 
I think not 1 for to fiytt / bot 1 kyng I wiH be seyn 

ifor euer. 
Bot 1 stand I to quart 1 , 
I teH you my hart, 
I shall gar thaym start, 

Or els trust 1 me neuer. 








primus Miles. Syr, thay went sodanly / or any man wyst, 
Els had mett 1 we, yei, pe?xly / and may ye tryst 1 . 
Secxmdiis Miles. So bold* nor so hardy / agans oure lyst, 
was none of that 1 company / durst 1 mete me with fyst 

ffor ferd*. 185 

Tercius Miles. IH durst 1 thay abyde, 
Bot 1 ran thame to hyde ; 
Might I thaym haue spyde, 

I had made thaym a herd. 189 

what couth Ave more do / to saue youre honoure 1 
primus Miles, we were redy therto / and shal be ilk howrc. 
hero&. Now syn it 1 is so / ye shall haue fauoure; 
Go where ye wyH, go / by towne and by towre, 

Ilerod still 
abuses them. 

If they con- 
tinue like 
this he will 
ding the in 
with stones, 

He does not 
mean to flit 
himself, but 
will make 
men see that 
he is king. 

[Fol. 57, a.] 

The knights 
boast what 
they would 
have done 
had they met 
the kings. 

What could 
they do more 
to save 
honour '{ 


Towneley Plays. XVI. Herod the Great. 

He forgives 
them ; 

and calls his 


He bids his 
clerks en- 
quire in 
Virgil, in 
Homer, and 
but in legend 
— in Boece 
and tales but 
not in ser- 
vice-books — 
as to this 
talk of a 
maiden and 
her child. 

The first 
quotes the 
prophecy of 
Isaiah as to 
the birth of 

The second 
quotes the 
prophecy of 
the birth of 
a king at 

Goys hens ! 
I haue maters to meH 
with my preuey counseH ; 
Clerkys, ye bere the beH, 

ye must 1 me encense. 

[The Soldiers retire.] 194 
[The Council advance.] 





Herod rages 
at them, and 

Oone spake in myne eere / A wonderful! talkyng, 
And sayde a madyn shuld? bere / anothere to be kyn 
Syrs, I pray you inquere / in ail wrytyng, 
In vyrgyH, in honiere / And all other thyng 

Bot 1 legende ; [They look at their books.] 

Sekys poece tayllys ; 
lefe pystyls and grales ; 
Mes, matyns, noght 1 avalys, 

AH these I defende ; 

I pray you tell heyndly / now what* ye fynde. 
primus consultus. Truly, sir, p7*ophecy / If is not H blynd ; 
we rede thus by Isay / he shalbe so kynde, 
That 1 a madyn, sothely / which neuer synde, 

ShaH hym bere : 
" virgo concipiet, 
JSTatimqwe pariet 1 ; " 
" Emannett " is hete, 

his name for to lere, 

" God is with vs," that 1 is forto say. 
Secundus consultus. And othere says thus / tryst me ye 

" Of bedlem a gracyus / lord shall spray, 
That 1 of Iury myghtyus / kyug shalbe ay, 

And hym shall honoure 
both kyng and emperoure." 
herodes. why, and shuld I to hym cowre? 

Nay, ther thou lyys lyghtly ! 

fly ! the dewiH the spede / and me, bot 1 I drynk onys ! 
This has thou done in dede / to anger me for the nonys ; 




99 r > 

Towneley Plays. XVI. Herod the Great. 


bids the 

fly and throw 
1 heir hooks 
into the 

Unless he 
have ven- 
geance on 
this lad he 
can live no 

And thou, knafe, thou thy mede / shall haue, by zokys [Foi. 57, i>.] 

dere bonys ! 
Thou can not 1 half thi crede ! / outt, thefys, fro my wonys ! 

fl^Jmafys ! 230 

fry, dotty-pols, with youre hookys ! 
Go kast thaym in the brookys ! 
with sich wylys and cvokys 

My wytt 1 away rafys ! 234 

hard I neuer sich a trant 1 / that 1 a knafe so sleght 
Shuld? com lyke a santt / and refe me my right ; 
Nay, he shall on slant 1 / I shall kyH hym downe stryght * 
war ! I say, lett 1 me pant / now thynk I to fyght 

ffor anger ; 239 

My gutty s wiH outt 4 thryng 
Bot I this lad hyng ; 
without^ 1 haue a vengyng, 

I may lyf no langer. 243 

Shuld a carU in a kafe / bot 1 of oone yere age, 
Thus make me to rafe 1 j 

primus consz^us. Syr, peasse this outrage ! 
A- way let ye wafe / aH sich langage, 
youre worship to safe / is he oglit* bot 1 a page 

Of a yere 1 248 

we two shall hym teyn 
with oure wyttys betweyn, 
That 1 , if ye do as I meyn, 

he shaH dy on a spere. 252 

Secundus consultus. ffor drede that 1 he reyn / do as we red ; 
Thrug. outt bedlem 1 / and ilk othere stede, 
Make knyghtys ordeyn / and put vnto dede 
AH knaue chyldren / of two yerys brede, 

And with-in ; 257 

This chyld* may ye spyrl 
Thus at 1 youre awne wiH. 
Herodes. Now thou says here tyU 

A right 1 nobyH gyn ! 261 

1 Assonant to 'reyne/ 'chyldren.' 

The council- 
lors bid him 
put away all 
such lan- 
guage, and 
they shall 
find him a 

Let him bid 

his knights 
slay all chil- 
dren at Beth- 
lehem and 
under two 
years old and 
this child 
must die. 

174 Towneley Plays. XVI. Herod the Great. 

Herod If I lyf in land / good lyfe, as I hope, 

right noble This dar I the warand / to make the Pope. 1 
five's he will 0, my hart is rysand / now in a glope ! 
councillor ffor this nobyll tythand / thou shart haue a drope 
wSe'hr 11 " Of my good grace ; 2G6 

caS!es a a V nd Marky*, rentys, and powndys, 
lands. Greatt 1 castels & groundys ; 

Thrugh ali sees and sandys 

I gvf the the chace. [The Council retires.] 270 

Herod bids Now wyll I procede / and take veniance: 

liis higssgii- 

ger call the AH the flowre of knyghthede / caH to legeance ; 

flower of liis ^ , T ,,,,«, ., ' -, • 

knights. Bewshere, I the bjd A J iv may the avance. 

Nuncius. lord, I shaH me spede / and bryng, perchaunce, 
To thy syght. [Herod retires. Knights advance.'] 
[Foi. 58, a.] hark, knyghtys, I you bryng 
The messen- here new tythyng ; 

ger bids the J J & J 

knights vnto herode kyng 

hasten to . 

Herod, hast with an youre myght ! 27 9 

armed and in In aH the hast 1 that 1 ye may / in armowre fuH bright 1 , 
array. In youre best aray / looke that 1 ye be dighf. 

primus Miles, why shuld we fray ? / 
Secundus Miles. this is not 1 ali right. 

Tercius Miles. Syrs, withoutten delay I drede that 1 we 

Nuncius. I pray you, • 284 

As fast 1 as ye may, 
com to hym this day. 
primus Miles, what 1 , in oure best 1 aray 1 
Nuncius. yei, syrs, I say you. 288 

ijus Miles. Somwhat is in hand / what euer it meyn. 
iij Miles. Tarry not for to stand / ther or we haue beyn. 

[Herod advances.] 
Nuncius. kyng herode ali weldand / weH be ye seyn ! 
youre knyghta/s ar comand / in armoure fun sheyn, 

1 This word is erased in the MS. 
3 The ryme needs ' bede.' 

Towneley Plays. XVI. Herod the Great. 175 

At 1 youro wyH. 293 

pri??ms Miles. hayH. dughtyest 1 of aft ! The first 

-^ J ' o J knight hails 

we are comen at 1 youre caR Herod, 

ifor to do what we shall, 

youre lust to fullfyH. 297 

herod. welcom, lordyngys, Iwys / both greatt and smaH ! j^m^f the 
The cause now is this / that I send for you afi : boy who 

' d must he 

A lad, a knafe, borne is / that 1 shuld? be kyng ryatt ; kmetl - 

Bot 1 1 kyH hym and his / I wote I brast my gaH ; 

Therfor, Syrs, 302 

Veniance shaU ye take, 
AH for that lad' sake, 
And men I shall you make 

where ye com ay where, syrs. 306 

To bedlem loke ye go / And aH the coste aboute, The knights 

J ° ' are to go to 

AH knaue chyldren ye slo / and lordv/s, ye shalbe stoute ; Bethlehem 
Of yeres if they be two / and within, of aH that 1 rowte aboutsand 
On ]yfe lyefe none of tho / that 1 lygys in swedyH clowte, knave-chii- 

T .. dren under 

1 red you ; 311 two years of 

Spare no kyns bloode, 
lett aft ryn on floode, 
If women wax woode ; 

I warn you, syrs, to spede you ; 315 

hens ! now go youre way / that ye were thore. 

ijus Miles. I wote we make a fray / bof I wyH go before. The knights 
iijus Miles. A, thynk, syrs, I say / I mon whett lyke a bore, obedience. 
primus Miles. Sett 1 me before ay / good enogh for a skore ; 
hayH heyndly ! 320 

we shaH for youre sake 
make a dulfuH lake. • 

her odes. Now if ye me weft wrake 

ye shall fynd me freyndly. [Exit Herod.'] 324 
ijus Miles. Go ye now tyft oure noytt / and handy ft 

thaym weyft. 
iijus Miles. I shaft pay thaym on the cote / begyn I to 
reyft. [First Woman and Child advance.] 


[Fol. 58, b.] 

They see a 
coming. The 
first knight 
tells her not 
to take it ill 
if he kill her 

The woman 

She attacks 
the knight, 
but her boy 
is slain. 

Towneky Plays. XVI. Herod the Great. 

primus Miles, hark, felose, ye dote / yonder co?>miys 

vnceyH ; 
I hold 2 here a grote / she lykys me not weyH 

Be we parte ; [To the Woman.] 329 

Dame, thynk it 1 not 1 yH, 
thy knafe if I kyrl. 
prima Mulier. what, thefe ! agans my wyU ? 

lord, kepe hym in qwarte ! 333 


^ri??zus Miles. Abyde now, abyde / no farther thou gose. 
prima Mulier. Peasse, thefe ! shall I chyde / and make 

here a nose 1 
jmmus Miles. I shall reyfe the thy pryde / kyH we 

these boyse ! 
prima Mulier. Tyd may betyde / kepe wett thy nose, 

ffals thefe ! 338 

haue on loft 1 on thy hode. 
primus Miles, what 1 , hoore, art 1 thou woode 1 

[Kills the Child.] 
prima Mulier. Outt, alas, my chjldijs bloode ! 

Outt, for reprefe ! 342 

Alas for shame and syn / alas that I was borne ! 
Of wepyng who may blyn / to se hir chylde forlorne *? 
My comfortrl and my kyn / my son thus alto torne ! 
veniance for this syn / I cry, both euyn and morne. 
Secundus Miles. weH done ! 347 

[Seeond Woman and Child advance.] 
Com hedyr, thou old stry ! 
that 1 lad of thyne shall dy. 
Seennda Mulier. Mercy, lord, I cry ! 

It 1 is myn awne dere son. 351 

The same */us Miles. No mercy thou mefe / it 1 mendys the not, mawd ! 
tTrouihbS 6 Secwnda Mulier. Then thi skalp shall I clefe ! / lyst 
thou be clawd 1 
lefe, lefe, now by lefe ! / 
Secundus Miles. peasse, byd I, bawd ! 

Secmida Midier. fTy, fy, for reprefe ! fy, full of frawde ! 

She laments 
over him and 
calls for 

tween a 
woman and 
the second 

Townelcy Plays. XVI. Herod the Great. 177 

No man ! 356 

haue at 1 thy tabard, 
harlot 1 and holard ! 
Thou shall not 1 be sparde ! 

I cry and I ban ! [He hills the boy.] 360 

Outtt ! morder ! man, I say / Strang tratoure & thefe ! she, also, 

Out 1 ! alas ! and waloway ! / my child that 1 was me lefe ! vengeance 
My luf , my blood, my play / that 1 neue?* dyd man grefe ! dered son. " 
Alas, alas, this day ! / I wold? my hart shuld* clefe 

In sonder ! 365 

veniance I cry and carl, 
on herode and his knyght?/s aH ! 
veniance, lord*, apon thaym fall, 

And mekyH warldys wonder ! 369 

Tercius Miles. This is well wroght 1 gere / that 1 euer Th e third 

may be; \_Tliird woman and child advance.] the g cWidof 

Comys hederward here ! / ye nede not to lie ! mother. 

Tercia Mulier. wyH ye do any dere / to my chyld' and me % 
iijus Miles, he shall dy, I the swere / his hart blood shall 
thou se. 

iija mulier. God for-bede ! 374 

Thefe ! thou shedys my chjldys blood ! [He kills the boy.] she laments 
Out 1 , I cry ! I go near wood ! 
Alas ! my hart 1 is aH on flood, 

To se my chyld* thus blede ! 378 

By god, thou shall aby this dede that thou has done. [ Fo i. 59j a- 

Terw'us Miles. I red the not 1 stry / by son and by moyn. lg * ' 1 "-' 
iij-d Midler, haue at 1 the, say I ! / take the ther a foyn ! 
Out 1 on the I cry / haue at thi groyn and attacks 

An othere ! 383 

This kepe I in store. 
Tercms Miles. Peasse now, no more ! 
Tei-cia Mulier. I cry and I rore, 

Out 1 on the, mans mordere ! 387 


Alas ! my bab, myn Innocent 1 / my fleshly get 1 ! for sorow She cries for 
That 1 god me clerly sent / of bales who may me borow 1 
T. plays. n 

him till he 
cries "Peace 
now, no 



Townehy Plays. XVI. Herod the Great. 

The first 
knight bids 
the women 

They are 
now, says 
the second 
The third 
knight pro- 
poses to tell 
their ex- 
ploits to 

The first, 
claims to 
have done 
the best. 

They boast 
to Herod of 
having mur- 
dered many 

they are 
worthy a 

Thy body is aH to-rent 1 / I cry both euen and morow, 
veniance for thi blod' thus spent 1 / out ! I cry, and horow ! 

primus Miles. Go lightly ! 392 

Gett 1 out 1 of thise wonys ! 
ye trattys, all at 1 onys, — 
Or by cokys dere bonys 

I make you go wyghtly ! [The mothers retire.] 

Thay ar flayd now, I wote, thay wiH not 1 abyde. 397 

Secxmdus Miles, lett vs ryn f ote hote / now wold' I we hyde, 
And teH of this lott / how we haue betyde. 
Tevcms Miles. Thou can do thi note / that 1 haue I aspyde ; 

Go iuvth. now, 401 

TeH thou herode oure tayH ! 
ffor aU oure avayR, 
I teH you, saunce fay 11, 

he wyH vs alow. 405 

primus Miles. I am best 1 of you aH / and euer has bene ; 
The deuyR haue my sauR / bot 1 I be fyrst 1 sene ; 
It 1 fyttys me to caR / my lord, as I wene. 
ijus Miles, what 1 nedys the to braR 1 / be not so kene 

In this anger ; 410 

I shaH say thou dyd best 1 , 
saue myself, as I gest. 
primus Miles, we ! that 1 is most 1 honest. 

Tercius Miles, go, tary no langer ! 414 

(47) [They approach Flerorf.] 
primus Miles. hayR herode, oure kyng / fuH glad may ye be ! 
Good tythyng we bryng / harkyn now to me ; 
we haue mayde rydyng / thrugh outt lure : 
weH wyt ye oone thyng / that 1 morderd? haue we 

Many thowsand?/s. 419 

//us Miles. I held* thaym fuH hote, 
I payd them on the cote ; 
Thare dammys, I wote, 

Neuer bynde them in bandys, 423 

n/us Miles, had ye sene howl fard/ when I cam emang them ! 
Ther was none that 1 I spard / bot lade on and dang them. 

Towneley Plays. XVI. Herod the Great. 179 

I am worthy a rewarde / where I was emmgys them. [Foi. 59, b.] 

I stud and I stard / no pyte to hang them 

had I. 428 

lierodes. Now, by myghty mahowne, 
That is good of renowne ! 
If I here this crowne 

ye shall haue a lady 432 

Ilkon to hym laycl, and wed at 1 his wyU. Herod pro- 

J J J misesthem 

primus Miles. So haue ye lang savde / do somwhat 1 thertyH ! each a lady 

n " 1 1 . , „ to wed at his 

ijws Miles. And I was neuer nayde / ior good ne for yti. will. 
iijixs Miles, ye might 1 hold* you well payde / oure lust 1 to 

Thus thynk me, 437 

with tresure vntold, 

If it 1 lyke that 1 ye wold, The third 

Both syluer and gold, gests a gift 

To gyf vs greatt 1 plente. 441 silver. 

herodes. As I am kyng crownde / I thynk it 1 good right ! Herod says a 
Ther goys none on grownde / that 1 has sich a wyght 1 ; thousand 

A hundreth thowsand pownde / is good wage for a knyght, good wage 

r\ e i i / i-ii. for a knight, 

Oi pe?2iiys good ana rownde / now may ye go light 1 and pro 

with store ; 446 

And ye knyghtys of oures 
ShaH haue castels and towres, 
Both to you and to youres, 

ffor now and euer more. 450 

pv'wms Miles, was neuer none borne / by downes ne by The knights 

Nor yit 1 vs beforne / that 1 had sich avalys. 
ijus Miles, we haue castels and corne / mych gold in 

oure malys. 
iijus Miles. IV wyH neuer be worne / withoutt 1 any talys ; 

hayH heyndly ! 455 

hayH lord ! hayH kyng ! 
we ar furth foundyng ! 
herod. Now mahowne he you bryng 

where he is lord freyndly ; 459 

mises castles 
and towers 
as well as 

rejoice at 
their wealth, 

J 80 

Toivnelcy Plays. XVI. Herod the Great. 


that he'inay 
stand in 
Each of the 
knights shall 
have a thou- 
sand marks 
—next time 
he comes. 

He is not 
troubled by 
the blood he 
has shed. 

His gall now 
is all of 

[Pol. 60, a. 
Sig. K. 2.] 

He need not 
despair now, 
for the boy 
must be 

144,000 have 
been slain : 
never was 
tliere such a 

Now in peasse may I stand / I thank the, mahowne ! 
And gyf of my lande / that loughs to my crowne ; 
Draw therfor nerehande / both of burgh and of townc ; 
Markys ilkon a thowsandc / when I am bowne, 

Shaft ye haue. 464 

I shalbe furl fayn 
To gyf that 1 I sayn ! 
wate when I com agayn, 

And then may ye craue. 468 

I sett 1 by no good? / now my hart 1 is at easse, 
That 1 I shed so mekyH blodo / pes aft my ryehes ! 
if or to se this node / from the fote to the nese 
Mefys nothing my mode / I lagft that I whese ; 

A, mahowne ! 473 

So light is my sauft, 
that aft of Sugar is my gall ; 
I may do what 4 I shall, 

And bere vp my crowne. 477 

I was castyn in care / so frightly afrayd, 
T'ot* I thar not dyspare / for low is he layd 
That I most dred are / so haue I hym flayd ; 
And els wonder ware / and so many strayd 

In the strete, 482 

That oone shuld be harmeles, 
and skape away hafles, 
where so many chyldes 

Thare balys can not 1 bete. 486 

A hundreth thowsand, I watt 1 / and fourty ar slayn, 
And four thowsand ; ther-at / me aght to be fayn ; 
Sich a morder on a flat / shall neuer be agayn. 
had I had bot oone bat H / at 1 that 1 lurdan 

So yong, 491 

If shuld' haue bene spokyn 
how I had me wrokyn, 
were I dede and rotyn, 

with many a tong. 495 

Townclcy Plays. XVII. The Purification of Mary. 181 

Tims shaH I tecfi knauys / ensampyH to take, 
In thare wyttys that 1 rauys / sich mastre to make : 
AH wantones wafys / no langage ye crak ! 
No sufferan you sauys / youre nekkys shaH I sbak 

In soncler ; • 500 

No kyng ye on caH 
Bot on herode the ryali, 
Or els many oone shall 

Apon youre bodys wonder. 504 

ffor if I here it 1 spokyn / when I com agayn, 
youre branys bese brokyn / therfor be ye bayn ; 
Nothyng bese vnlokyn / it 1 shalbe so playn ; 
Begyn I to rekyn / I thynk aH dysdayn 

ffor daunche. 509 

Syrs, this is my counseH — 
Bese not to crueH, 
Bot adew ! — to the deuyH ! 

I can nomore f rau^ch ! 513 

Explicit Magnus Herodes. 

Let knaves 
take ex- 
ample by it, 
and call no 
man king 
but Herod. 

If he hear 
them speak 
of any other 
lie will 
knock their 
brains out. 
But now he 
' ' can no 

Incipit Purificaczo marie. 

[10 eight-line stanzas aaab cccb ; 10 six-line aab ccb ; and one, 
[Dramatis Personae. 

Primus Angelus. 


Sccundas Angelas. 



Tghtftirl god, thou vs glad ! 

That 1 heuen and erthe and aH has mayd< 
Bryng vs to blys that 1 neuer shaft fade, 

As thou weri may ; 
And thynk on me that 1 is vnweld — 
lo ! so I hobyli aH on held?, 
That 1 vnethes may I walk for eld — ■ 
Now help, lord, adenay ! 


[Fol. 60, b.] 

prays to God 
to remember 
him in Ins 
old age. 

182 Towneley Plays. XVII. The Purification of Mary. 

He wonders Bot yitt I merueH, both euyn and morne, 
good men of Of old* elders that* were beforne, 

old be safe or -,,,,,„ , 

lost. wheder tnay be sate or lorne, 

where thay may be ; 12 

AbeH, noye, and abraham, 
Dauid, danieH, and balaam, 
And aH othere mo by name, 

Of sere degre. 16 


He thanks I thank the, lord, with good intent, 
giving him Of aH thy sond thou has me sent*, 
5fe. 0Dc That* thus long tyme my lyfe has lent, 

Now many a yere ; 20 

ffor aH ar past* now oonly bof I ; 
I thank the, lord god alrayghty ! 
ffor so old? know I none, sothly, 

Now lyfyng here. 24 

He knows no ffor I am old symeon : 

man so old ~ , , , c , T 

as himself: bo old on lyie know 1 none, 

he be feeble. That is mayde on flesh and bone, 

In aH medyH-erd. 28 

No wonder if I go on held : 
The feuyrs, the riyx, make me vnweld ; 
Myn armes, my lymmes, ar stark for eld', 

And aH gray is my berd. 32 

Myn ees are woren both marke and blynd ; 
Myn and is short, I want wynd? ; 
Thus has age dystroed my kynd, 

And reft niyght£->' aH ; 36 

His own Bot shortly mon I weynd away ; 
awaywrn what tyme ne when/1 can not say, 

soon come. 

ffor it is gone fuH many a day 

Syn dede began to caH. 40 

[Foi. 6i, a. Ther is no warke that I may wyrk, 
- ' Bot oneths craH I to the kyrk ; 

Be I com home I am so irk 

Towneky Plays. XVII. The Purification of Many. 183 

That farther may I noght ; 
Eot settys me downe, and grankys, and gronys, 
And lygys and restys my wery bonys, 
And aft nyght after grank?/s and goonys, 

On slepe tyft I be broght. 

Eot neuer the les, the sothe to say, 
If I may nather, by nyght ne day, 
ffor age nather styr ne play, 

Nor make no chere, 
yit if I be neuer so old*, 
I myn f uft well that 1 prophet?/s told, 
That now ar dede and layde furl cold, 

Sythen gone many a yere. 

Thay sayde that god , furl of myght, 
Shuld* send his son from heuen bright, 
In a madyn for to light, 

Co??imen of dauid kyn ; 
flesh and bloode on hyr to take, 
And becom man for oure sake, 
Our redempcyon for to make, 

That 1 slayn were thrugh syn. 

Bot, lord, that vs thy grace has hight, 
Send me thy sond, both day and nyght, 
And graunt me grace of lyfys light, 

And let 1 me neuer de, 
To thou sich grace to me send, 
That 1 I may handyft hym in my hend, 
That 1 shaft cum oure mys to amend, 

And se hym with myn ee. 


J>ri??^us angelus. Thou, symeon, drede the noght ! 
My lord, that thou has long besoght, 

ffor thou has rightwys beyn, 
Thyn askyng has he grauntyd the, 
with outen dede on lyfe to be 

To thou thy cryst 1 haue seyn. 




He can do 

no work save 
going, and 
when he 
conies back 
from that all 
his bones 

Yet feeble as 
age has made 
him, he re- 
members the 
words of the 
dead pro- 

who foretold 
the birth of 
God's Son for 
man's re- 



He prays : 
God that he 
may not die 
till he has 
held this 
Child in his 



An angel 
the granting 
of his 
75 prayer. 


184 Towneley Plays. XVII. The Purification of Mary. 

A second 
angel tells 
him he shall 
find God's 
Son in the 

praises God 
for His 

[Fol. 61, b.] 

He will pnt 
on his vest- 
ment in 
honour of 
that king, 

for welcome 
shall that 
Lord be to 
him, who 
shall make 
men free. 

The bells 
ring so 
solemnly he 
thinks it 
must be for 
the coming 
of the Lord. 


Secxmdus angelus. Than symeon, harkyn a space ! 
I bryng the tythyngz/s of solace ; 

ffor-thy, ryse vp and gang 81 

To the temple ; thou shaH fynd thore 
Godys son the before, 

That thou has yernyd lang. 84 

Symeon. Louyd be my lord! in wyH and thoght, 
That his seruant forgett?/,-? noght, 

when that 1 he seys tyme ! 87 

well is me that I shaH dre 
TyH I haue sene hym with myn ee, 

And no longe?* hyne. 90 

Louyd be my lord in heuen, 
That 1 thus has by his angerl steuen 

warnyd me of his commjng I 93 

Therfor wiU I with intent 
putt 1 on me my vestment, 

In worship of that kyng. 96 

he shalbe welcom vnto me : 
That 1 lord shaH make vs alle fre, 

kyng of aH man-kyn ; 99 

fr'or with his blood he shaft vs boroo 
Both fro catyfdam & from soroo, 

That 1 was slayn thrugh syn. 102 

Tunc pulsauimt. 
A, dere god ! what 1 may this be 1 ? 
Oure bellys ryng so solemply, 

fTor whom soeuer it is ; 1 05 

Now certys, I can not vnderstand, 
Bot 1 if my lord god aH weldand 

Be commen, that 1 aH shaH wyse. 108 

This noyse lyghtyns fuH weH myn hart 1 ! 
Shalt I neuer rest, and I haue quart, 

Or I com ther onone ; 111 

Towneley Plays. XVII. The Purification of Mary. 185 

Now weft were I and it so were, 
ffor sich noyse hard I neuer ere ; 

Oure bellys ryng by thare oone ! 114 

[Joseph, with two doves, and Mary, -with Iter baby, advance.'] 
Ioseph. Mary, it 1 begynnys to pas, 
ffourty dayes syn that 1 thou was 

Delyuer of thy son ; 
To the temple I red we draw. 
To clens the, and fulfyH the law, 
As oure elders were won. 
Therfor, mary, madyn heynd, 
Take thi chyld' and let vs weynd 

The tempyH vntyrl ; 
And we shaH with vs bryng 
Thise turtyls two to oure offryng, 
The law we wiU fulfyll. 
Maria. Ioseph, that wyH I fuH weH, 
That 1 the law euery deyH * 

Be f ulfyllyd in me. 
Lord, that 1 aH myght?/s may, 
Gyf vs grace to do this day 

That 1 it be pleassyng to the ! 

Angeli cantant ; simeon \the rest is illegible]. 

primus angelus. Thou, symeon, rightwys and trew, 
Thou has desyred both old and new, 
To haue a sight of cryst ihesu 

As prophecy has told ! 
Oft has thou prayd to haue a sight 
Of hym that 1 in a madyn light 1 ; 
here is that chyld of mekyrl myght, 
Now has thou that thou wold. 
Secimdus angolxxs. Thou has desyryd it most of aH. 1 







The bells are 
ringing of 

Joseph bids 
Mary draw 
near the 



taking her 
Child with 
her, and they 
will bring 
two doves for 
an offering. 

Mary is well 
pleased to 
fulfil all the 

The first 
Angel an- 
nounces to 
Simeon that 
this is the 
Child whom 
he longed to 

1 The end of this Play, and the beginning of the next, are 
wanting, two leaves of the manuscript being lost. 

186 Towneley Plays. XVIIL The Play of the Doctor, 

[Fol. 62, a.] 

The Doctors 
talk of the 
prophecy of 


had foretold 
the rod that 
spring from 
the root of 


[17 eight-line stanzas ab ab ab ab ; 33 four-line ab ab ; 2 couplets 
and one line of Latin.] 

Primus Magistcr. 
Secundus Magistcr. 

[Dramatis Personae. 

Tercius Magistcr. 



[Secundus Magister.] That a madyn a barn shuld? bere ; 

And his name thus can thay teli, 
ffro the tyme that he born were, 

he shalbe callyd emanueH ; 4 

Counselloure, and god of strengthe, 

And wonderfurl also 
ShaH he be callyd, of brede and lenghthe 

As far as any man may go. 8 


iijus r/?agister. Masters, youre resons ar right good, 

And wonderfull to neuen, 
yit fynde I more by abacuk ; 

Syrs, lysten a whyle vnto my steuen. 12 

Oure bayli, he says, shaH turn to boytt, 

her-afterward som day ; 
A wande shaH spryng fro Iesse roytt, — 

The certan sothe thus can he say, — 1G 

And of that 1 wande shaH spryng a flourc, 

that 1 shali spryng vp f uH hight : 
Ther of shaH com furl swete odowre, 

And therapon shali rest* and lyght 20 

(6) ' 
The holy gost, fuH mych of myghf ; 

The goost 1 of wysdom and of wytt, 
ShaH bey Id his nest, with mekyH right 1 , 

And in if brede and sytt. 24 

Toiwuley Plays. XVIII. The Play of the Doctors. 187 

_pri??ius ?rcagiste?\ Bot when trow ye this prophecy 

Shalbe fulfyllyd in decle, 
That here is told so openly, 

As we in scrypture rede % 28 

?)'us magister. A greatt merueH for sothe it is, 

To vs to here of sich mastry ; 
A madyn to bere a chyld, Iwys, 

w/t7iout mans seyde, that 1 were ferly. 32 

iijus ??2agiste?*. The holy gost shaH in hyr lyght, 

And kepe hir madynhede f uH clene ; 
whoso may byde to se that sight 1 

Thay ther not drede, I wene. 36 

primus magister. Of aH thise prophetv/.s wyse of lore 

That 1 knew the prophecy, more and les, 
was none that told the tyme before, 

when he shuld? com to by vs peasse. 40 


Secxmdus ???agister. wheder he be commen or not 

]STo knowlege haue we in certayn ; 
Bot he shall com, that dowt we not 1 ; 

ffuH prcphetys haue prechyd it 1 fuH playn. 44 

u)'us wagiste?*. Mekyft I thynk that 1 thise prophetys 

Ar holden to god, that 1 is on hight, 
That haue knowyng of his behetys, 

And for to teH of his mekyH myght. 48 

The first 
Doctor won- 
ders when 
this shall be 

They discuss 
the con- 
ception by 
the Holy 

None of the 
were told 
the time of 
these things, 

He may be 
come or not, 
but of His 
coming they 
have no 

Tunc venit ihesus. 1 

J7iesus. Masters, luf be with you lent 1 , 

And mensk be vnto this mene3e ! 
primus 7?zagister. Son, hens away I wold thou went, 

ffor othere haft in hand haue we. 

Jesus greets 

The first 
KO doctor says 
o£ they are 


1 MS. ihc : as it rymes with 'thus,' 'vs,' it is always expanded 
i ihcsws. 

138 Towncley Plays. XVIII. The Play of the Doctors. 

The second 
Doctor says 
they have 
other things 
to do than 
to play with 

[Fol. 62, b. J 
But the third 
bids Jesus 
listen to 
their speech, 
that He may 
learn by it. 

Jesus says 
He has no 
need to learn 
of them. 

The first 
thinks He is 
too young to 
know their 
laws "by 

They bid 
Him sit to be 

Jesus says 
the Holy 
Ghost has 
given Him 
power to 

ij\is magistQY. Son, whosoeuer the hyder sent, 

Thay were not wyse, thus teli I the ; 
ffor we haue othere tayllys to tent 

Then now with barnes bowrdand to be. 56 

Terdus magister. Son, thou lyst oght lere / To lyf by 

moyses lay ; 
Com heder, and thou shall here / The sawes that we Avyli 
say ; 58 

ffor in som mynde if may the bryng 

To here oure sawes red by rawes. 
Ihesus. To lere of you nedys me no thyng, 

ffor I knaw both youre dedys & sawes. 62 

2^ri?/2us magister. hark, yonder barn with his bowrdyng ! 

he wenys he kens more then he knawys ; 
Nay, cevtys, son, thou art 1 ouer ying 

By clergy yit to know oure lawes. 66 


7/iesus. I wote as welt as ye / how that youre lawes was 

Secnndus magister. Com sytt ! soyn shall we se, / ffor 

certys so semys it noght. 68 

TerciuB magister. It 1 were wonder if any wyght 

vntiH oure resons right shuld reche ; 
And thou says thou has in sight 1 

Oure lawes truly to teli and teche. 72 

/Aesus. The holy gost has on me lyghf , 

And anoynt 1 me lyke a leche, 
And gyffen to me powere and myght 

The kyngdom of heuen to preche, 76 

Seeundus magister. whens euer this barne may be 

That shewys thise novels new 1 
Ihesus. Certan, syrs, I was or ye, 

And shaH be after you. 80 

Towneley Plays. XVIII. The Play of the Doctors. 189 

primus magister. Son, of thi sawes, as we haue ceytf, 

And of thi wytt is wonder thyng ; 
Hot neuer the les fully I feyH 

That 1 it may fayH in wyrkyng ; 84 

ffor dauid demys euer ilk deytt, 

And thus he says of chylder ying, 

" Ex ore infancium & lactencium, perfecisti laude??z." 

Of thare mowthes, sayth dauid, wele, 

Oure lord he has perfourmed louyng. 88 

Neuer the les, son, yit shuld thou lett 

her for to speke in large ; 
ffor where masters ar mett, 

Chylder wordys ar not to charge. 92 

(22) ' 
ffor, ceitys, if thou wold neuer so fayn 

Gyf all thi lyst to lere the law, 
Thou art nawther of myght ne mayn 

To know it, as a clerk may knaw. 96 

Utesus. Syrs, I say you in certan, 

That sothfast shaH be aH my saw ■ 
And powere haue I plene and playn, 

To say and answere as me aw. "100 

primus ??iagister. Masters, what 1 may this mene 1 

MerueH, methynk, haue I 
where euer this barne has bene 

That carpys thus conandly. 104 

ASecunc?us magister. In warld as wyde as Ave haue went 

ffand we neuer sich ferly fare ; 
Ceitys f I trow the barn be sent 

Sufferanly to salfe our sare. 108 

Ihesus. Syrs, I shaH preue in youre present 

AH the sawes that I sayde are. 
Tetcius magister. which callys thou the fyrst co??jmaunde- 

And the most, in moyses lare % 112 

The first 
Doctor re- 
members the 
text, "Out of 
the mouths 
of babes and 
hast thou 

yet thinks 
Jesus should 
not speak 
so boldly 

for it is im- 
possible for 
Him to know 
the Law like 
a clerk. 

Jesus says 
He has 
power to 
answer as 
He ought. 

[Fol. 63, a.] 

The Doctors 
are astonish- 
ed at His 

The third 
Doctor asks 
Him which 
is the first 
ment, and 
the chief, in 
Moses' Law. 

190 Towncley Plays. XVIII. The Play of the Doctors. 

Jesus bids 77^esus. Syrs, synthen ye syt on raw, 
from their And liafe youre hookys on brede, 

books. , , 

let se, syrs, m youre saw 

how right that 1 ye can rede. 116 

The first primus magister. I rede that this is the fyrst bydyng 
that the S f?rst That moyses told' vs here vntyH ; 

command- n , 1 . , .,, ,, 

ment is to lionoure tni god ouer ilka thyng, 

honour God. ^.^ ^ ^ ^ and ^ ^ ^ R . j 2Q 

And aH thi hart in hym shall: hyng, 

Erly and late, both lowde and styli. 
Ihesus. ye ned e none othere booky s to bry ng, ' 

Bot fownd this to fulfyfi ; 124 

Jesus says The seconde may men prof e 
second is to And clergy knaw therby ; 
neighbour, youre neyghburs shaH ye lofe 

Right as youre self truly. 128 

i illegible. [Thise] l commaunded moyses tyH aH men 

In his commaundes clere ; 
On these two In thise two bydyngys, shaH ye ken, 

hangaffthe n y n gy s a & the l aw we a ght H to lere. 132 

law# who so fulfylles thise two then 

with mayn and mode and good manere, 
he fulfyllys truly aH ten 

That 1 after thaym folovvs in fere. 136 

Then shuld we god honowre 

"with aH oure myghf and mayn, 
And luf weH ilk neghboure 

Eight as oure self certayn. 140 

primus magister. Now, son, synthen thou has told vs two, 

which ar the aght, 2 can thou oght say 1 
Ihesus. The thyrd bydys, " where so ye go, 

That ye shaH halow the holy day ; 144 

The Doctor 
asks, What 
are the other 

2 MS. viii. 

Tmimeley Plays. X VIII. The Play of the Doctors. 191 


ffrom bo Jely wark ye take youre rest ; 

youre household, looke the same thay do, 
Both wyfe, chyld, seruande, and beest 1 ." 

The fourt 1 is then in weytt and wo 
" Thi fader, thi moder, thou shall honowre, 

Not 1 only with thi reuerence, 
Bot 1 in thare nede thou thaym socoure, 

And kepe ay good obedyence." 
The fyft bydys the "no man slo, 

Ne harme hym neuer in word ne dede, 
"Ne suffre hym not* to be in wo 

If thou may help hym in his nede." 
The sext bydys the "thi wyfe to take, 

Bot 1 none othere lawfully ; 
lust 1 of lechery thou fie and fast forsake, 

And drede ay god where so thou be." 
The seuen l bydys the "be no thefe feyr, 

Ne nothyng wyn with trechery ; 
Oker, ne symony, thou com not 1 nere, 

Bot 1 conscyence clere ay kepe truly." 
The aght 2 hyddys the " be true in dede, 

And fals wytnes looke thou none berc ; 
looke thou not ly for freynd ne syb, 

lest 1 to thi sauH that it do dere." 
The neyn 3 hyddys the " not 1 desyre 

Thi neghburs wyfe ne his women, 
Bot 1 as holy kyrk wold it were, 

Right so thi purpose sett it H in." 
The ten 4 hyddys the "for nothyng 

Thi neghburs goodys yerne wrongwysly ; 
his house, his rent 1 , ne his hafyng 1 , 

And crysten fayth trow stediastly." 








[Fol. 63, b.] 

Jesus an- 
swers (3) to 
keep the 
holy day 

(4) honour 
and succour 
father and 

(5) kill nor 
harm no 

(6) take thy 
own wife, 
but none 

3 MS. vii. 

(7) to win 
nothing by 
theft, treach- 
ery, usury 
or simony, 

2 MS. viij. 

(8) bear no 
false wit- 

3 MS. ix. 

(9) desire no 
man's wife, 

4 MS. x. 

(10) covet no 
man's goods. 


192 Totuneley Plays. XVIII. The Play of the Doctors. 

These are 
the ten 

1 overlined 

The second 
Doctor won- 
ders at the 
of Jesus. 

The third 
fears the 
people will 
praise Him 
more than 
themselves : 

but is re- 
buked by 
the first. 

Mary is in 
trouble : 
they have 
sought Jesus 
but cannot 
find Him. 

[Fol. 64, a.] 

would fain 
know if He 
is about the 



Tims in tabyls, sliari ye ken, 

Oure lord 1 to moyses wrate ; 
Thise ar the commaundment'^ ten, 

who so will lely layt. 

Secundus magister. Behald how lie lege oure lawes, 

And leryd neuer on booke to rede ! 
Hurl soteH sawes, me thynk, he says, 

And also true, if we take hede. 181 

Tera'us ??mgister. yei, lett hym furth on his wayes, 

ffor if he dwell, withoutten drede 
The pepyH wiH ful soyn hym prayse 

well more then vs, for all oure dede. 188 

primus magister. Nay, nay, then wyrk we wrang ! 

sich spekyng wiU we spare ; 
As he cam let hym gang, 

And mefe vs, not no mare. 


Tunc venient 1 Ioseph et 1 maria, & dicet Maria ; 

Maria. A, dere Joseph ! what* is youre red % 

Of oare greatt bayll no boytt may be ; 
My hart 1 is heuy as any lede, 

My semely son to I hym se. 
Now haue we soght 1 in euery sted, 

Both vp and downe, thise dayes thre ; 
And wheder he be whik or dede 

yit 1 wote we not 1 ; so wo is me ! 
Iosepfr. Sorow had neuer man mare ! 

Bot mowr[n]yng, mary, may not amend ; 
ffarther do I red we fare, 

To god som socoure send. 

Abowtt 1 the tempyH if he be oghf, 

That wold I that 1 we wyst this nyght. 
Maria. A, cert?/s, I se that 1 Ave have soght 1 ! 

In warld was neuer so semely a sight 1 ; 





TowneUy Plays. XVIII. The Play of the Doctors. 193 

lo, where he sytta/s ! se ye hym noght 1 

Amang^s yond masters mekyii of myght 1 
Joseph. Blyssyd be he vs heder broght 1 ! 

In land now lyfys there none so light. 
Maria. Now dere Joseph, as haue ye seyH, 

Go furth and fetche yonre son and myne ; 
This day is goyn nere ilka devil, 

And we haue nede for to go hien. 
Joseph, with men of myght can I not 1 meH, 

Then aH my traueH mon I tyne ; 
I can not with thaym, that wote ye weH, 

Thay are so gay in furrys fyne. 
Maria. To thaym youre erand? forto say, 

Surely that thar ye drede no deyH ! 
Thay wiH take hede to you alway 

Be cause of eld*, this' wote I weyH. 
Ioseph. when I com ther what 1 shall I say % 

tfor I wote not 1 , as haue I ceyH ; 
Bot thou wiH haue me shamyd for ay, 

ffor I can nawthere crowke ne knele. 
Maria. Go we togeder, I hold? it 1 best 1 , 

Vnto yond worthy wyghfa/s in wede ; 
And if I se, as haue I rest, 

That 1 ye wiH not 1 , then must 1 1 nede. 
Joseph. Go thou and tell thi tayH fyrst, 

Thi son to se wiH take good hede ; 
weynd furth, mary, and do thi best 1 , 

I com behynd, as god me spede. 
Maria. A, dere son, Ihesus ! 1 

sythen we luf the alone, 1 
whi dos thou tyH vs thus, 

And gars vs make this mone ? 
Thi fade?* and I betwix vs two, 

Son, for thi luf has lykyd yH, 









blesses God 
for enabling 
them to find 

Mary bids 
Joseph fetch 
Jesus, but 
he is afraid 
of meddling 
with men of 
might, gay 
in fine furs. 

Mary says 
they will 
respect his 

Joseph asks 
what he is to 

Mary will go 
with him 
and speak, 
if he won't. 

makes her 
go first. 

Mary asks 
Jesus why 
He has done 
thus to 
them ? 

1 Written as one line with central ryme in MS., and so to end 
of Play. 


194 Towneley Plays. X VIII. The Play of the Doctors. 

[Fol. 64, b.] 

His father 
and she 
have sought 
Him weep- 

Jesus says 
He must 
fulfil His 

[Mary ?] will 
think well 
on all 

Joseph bids 
Jesus come 
home with 

He bids 
farewell to 
the Doctors, 
who bless 

that He 
shall prove 
a good 

and welcome 
Him to live 
with them. 

Jesus says 
He must 
obey His 

we haue the soght both to and fro 

wepeand sore, as wyghtis wyH. 
Ihesus. wherto shuld ye, moder, seke me so 1 

Oft tymes it has bene told* ye tyH 
My fader warkys, for wele or wo, 

Thus am I sent for to fulfyH. 
1 Thise sawes, as haue I ceyH, 

I can weH vnderstonde, 
I shall thynk on them weyH 

To fownd what 1 is folowand. 
IosepK Now sothly, son, the sight of the 

has comforthed vs of aH oure care ; 
Com furth, now, with thi moder and me ! 

At 1 nazareth I wold we ware. 
Ihesus. Be leyf then, ye lovdjngys fre! 

ffor with my freyndys now wyii I fare. 
j9ri??ms raagister. Son, where so thou shall abyde or be 





God make the good man euer mare. 



Secimdus magister. No wonder if thou, wife, 

Of his fyndyng be fayn ; 
he shaH, if he haue lyfe, 

prefe to a fuH good swayn. 264 

Tercms magister. Son, looke thou layn, for good or yH, 

The nojttys that we haue nevened now ; 
And if thou lyke to abyde here styH, 

And with vs won, welcom art 1 thou. 268 

Ihesus. Gramercy, syrs, of youre good >vyHr ! 

No longer lyst I byde with you, 
My freyndys thoght I shall f ulfyH, 

And to thare bydyng baynly bow. 272 

Maria. ffuH weH is me this tyde, 

Now may we make good chere. 
Ioseph. No longer wyH we byde ; 

ffar weH aH folk in fere. 276 

Expl\i\cit Pagina Doctomm. 

1 This stanza must be assigned to Maiy, see Luke iii. 51. 

Townelcy Plays. XIX. Iohn the Baptist:. 


Incipit Ioha?mes bapt&ftz. 

[Dramatis Personae. 

Johannes. Primus Angelus. Secundus Angelus. Jesus,] 

[35 eight-line stanzas ab ab ab ab, and 1 four-line ab ab.] 

JoJmnnes. (1) 

&od, that 1 mayde both more and les, 
Heuen and erth, at his awne wyH, 
And merkyd man to his lyknes, 
As thyng that 1 wold his lyst ffulfyri, 
Apon the erth he send lightnes, 
Both son and moyne lymett thertyH, 
He saue yon aH from synfulnes, 

And kepe you clene, both lowd and stytt. 

Emang prophetys then am I oone 

That 1 god has send to teche his law, 
And man to amend, that 1 wrang has gone, 

Both with exampyft and with saw. 
My name, for sothe, is baptyst 1 Iohn, 

My fader zacary ye knaw, 
That 1 was dombe and mayde great mone, 

Before my byrth, and stode in awe. 

Elezabeth my moder was, 

Awntt 1 vnto mary, madyn mylde ; 
And as the son shynys thorow the glas, 

Cevtys, in hir wombe so dyd hir chyld?. 
Yit 1 the lues inqueryd me has 

If I be cryst ; thay ar begyld, 
For ihesus shal amend mans trespas, 

That 1 with freylte of fylthe is fylyd. 

I am send bot messyngere 

ffrom hyrn that 1 alkyn mys may mend ; 
I go before, bodword to bere, 



John prays 
God to save 
the specta- 
tors from 

[Fol. 65, a. 
Sig. 1. 1.] 

He is a pro- 
phet, Bap- 
tist John, 
son of 

Zachary and 

20 The Jews 
have asked 
if he be 


He is only 
the messen- 
ger and fore- 

And 1 as forgangere am I send, 
1 MS. As. 



to prepare 
His ways. 

These Jews 
shall crucify 
Christ as a 
traitor or 
thief, not 
for His guilt 
but our 

He baptises 
with water, 
but Christ 
with the 
Holy Ghost. 

He is un- 
worthy to 

He praises 
God for His 

and for send- 
ing His Son 
to save 
man's sold. 

Towneley Plays. XIX. Iohn the Baptist. 

his wayes to wyse, his lawes to' lere, 
Both man and wyfe that 1 has offende. 

fEuH mekyU barett mon he here, 

Or tyme he hane broght 1 aH tyH ende, 

Thise lues shaH hyng hym on a roode, 

Man's sauH to hym it 1 is so leyfe, 
And therapon shaH shede his bloode, 

As he were tratoure or a thefe, 
Not 1 for his gylfr bot for oure goode, 

Because that we ar in myschefe ; 
Thus shaH he dy, that 1 frely foode, 

And ryse agane tyH: oure relefe. 

In water clere then baptyse I 

The pepyH that 1 ar in this coste ; 
Bot he shaH do more myghtely, 

And baptyse in the rmly.goost; 
And with the bloode of his body 

wesh oure synnes both leste and moost, 
Therfor, me thynk, both ye and I 

Agans the feynde ar welt endoost. 


I am not worthy for to lawse 

The leste thwong that long?/s to his shoyne ; 
Bot god almyghty, that 1 aH knawes, 

In erth thi wiH if must 1 be done. 
I thank the, lord, that 1 thi sede sawes 

Emong mankynde to groyf so sone, 
And euery day that on erth dawes 

Jfeydys vs with foode both euen and none. 

we ar, lord, bondon vnto the, 

To luf the here both day and nyght, 
nor thou has send thi son so fre 

To saue mans sault that 1 dede was dight 
Thrugh adam syn and eue foly, 

That 1 synnyd thrugh the feynd^'s myght ; 
Bot 1 , lord, on man thou has pyte, 
" And beyld thi barnes in heuen so bright. 









Totvnchy Plays. XIX. lohn the Baptist. 


primus a?igelus. harkyn to me, thou lohn baptyst ! 

The ffader of heuen he gvetys the weyti, 
nor he has fon the true and tryst, 

And dos thi dever euery deyft ; 68 

wyt thou weft his will thus ist, 

Syn thou art 1 stabyft as any steyft, 
That thou shaft baptyse ihesu cryst 

In iiume Iordan, mans care to bey ft 72 

An angel 
to him that 
he shall bap- 
tise Christ 
in Jordan. 


Ioharmes. A, dere god ! what* may this be 1 

I hard a steuen, bof noght I saw. 
primus angelus. lohn, if is I that 1 spake to the ; 

To do this dede haue thou none aw. 76 

Iolmunes. Shuld I abyde to he com to me % 

That* that 1 shaft neuer be, I traw ; 
I shaft go meyt that lord so fre, 

As far as I may se or knaw. 80 

[Fol. 65, b.] 

John says he 
will go meet 


Secuudus angelus. Nay, lohn, that 1 is not weft syttand; 

his fader wift thou must 1 uedys wyrk. 
primus a?igelus. lohn, be thou here abydand, 

Bofr when he commys be then not 1 yrk. 84 

Ioh&imes. By this I may weft vnderstand. 

That 1 child er shuld be broght to kyrk, 
ffor to be baptysyd in euery land ; 

To me this law yit 1 is it 1 myrk. 88 

But he is 
bidden to 
await His 

Hence he 
that children 
should be 
brought to 
church to be 


Secimdvis angelus. lohn, this place if is pleassyng, 

And if is callyd Hume Iordan ; 
here is no kyrk, ne no bygyng, 

Bof where the fader wyft orclan, 92 

If is godys wyft and his bydyng. 

Iohannes. By this, for. sothe, weft thynk me than 
his warke to be at his lykyng, 

And ilk folk pleasse hym thaf thay can. *96 

The second 
angel shows 
him that 
Jordan is to 
be the place, 
though there 
is neither 
church nor 

198 Townclcy Plays. XIX. lohn the Baptist. 

John yields Sen I must 1 nedys his lyst 1 f ulfyH 

himself to , , ,, , , , 

Christ's win he shaft be 176100111 vnto me ; 
be. ie I yeld me holy to his wiH, 

where so euer I abyde or be. 100 

I am his semande, lowd and styll, 
And messy ngere vnto that 1 fre; 
whethere that 1 he wiH saue or spyH 

I shaft: not 1 gruch in no degre. 104 

& 1 


Jesus comes 77/esus. Iohn, god?/s seruand and prophete, 

to be bap- __ „( _ ' & f . , 

tised in clear My fader, that 1 is vnto the dere, 


has send me to the, weft thou wytt, 

To be baptysyd in water clere ; 108 

ffor reprefe vnto mans rytt 1 

The law I wiH f ulfyfi right 1 here ; 
My fader ordynance thus is it, 

And thus my wyft is that 1 it were. 112 

I com to the, baptym to take, 

To whome my fader has me sent 1 , 
with oil and with oyle and creme that 1 thou shal make 
cream lere- y^fo that* worthi sacrament 1 . 116 

And therfor, Iohfi, it 1 not* forsake, 
Bot 1 com to me in this present 1 , 
ffor now wiH I no farther rake 

Or I haue done his commaundement. 120 

John is IoJisumes. A, lord ! I loue the for thi commyng ! 

christ*s° wm, I am redy to do his wiH, 
aMght may In word, in wark, in aft kyn thyng, 

w King v what 1 soeuer he sendys me tyft ; 1 24 

This bewteose lord to bryng to me, 

his awne seruande, this is no skyft, 
A knyght 1 to baptyse his lord kyng, 

My pauste may it? not 1 fulfyft. 128 

Christ to 
hold him 
excused, for 
he dare not 
touch His 

Towneley Plays. XIX. Iohn the Baptist. 199 

And if 1 were worthy He asks 

fTor to fulfyH this sacrament, 
I haue no cownyng, securly, 

To do it 1 after thyn) intent 1 ; 132 

And therfor, lord, I ask mercy ; body - 

hald? me excusyd as I haue ment 1 ; 
I dar not 1 towche thi blyssyd body, 

My hart 1 wiH neuer to it 1 assent 1 . 136 


Ihesus. Of thi cownyng, John, drede the noglit ; [Fo i. 66 , a. 

My fader his self he wiH the teche ; Sig - l 2 ' ] 

he that 1 aH this warld* has wroght 1 , Godwin 

he send the playnly f orto preche ; 110 eaci ' 

he knawys mans hart 1 , his dede, his thoght ; 

he wotys how far mans myght 1 may reche, 
Therfor hedir haue I soght 1 ; 

My fader lyst 1 may none appeche. Ill 

. (19) 
Behold, he sendys his angels two, 

In tokyn I am both god and man ; 
Thou gyf me baptym or I go, ™ t n ur t uble 

And dyp me in this flume Iorclan. 118 

Sen he wyli thus, I wold wytt who 

Durst 1 hj?n agan stand 1 Iohn, com on than, 
And baptyse me for freynde or fo, 

And do it 1 , Iohn, right 1 as thou can. 152 


primus angelus. Iohn, be thou buxom and right 1 bayn, T he first 

And be not gruchand in no thyng ; jolnob? 

Me thynk thou aght to be ful layn for God has 

1/0 J given him 

ffor to fulfyH my lord/5 bydyng 156 power - 

Erly and late, with moyde and mayn, 

Therfor to the this word I bryng, 
My lord has gyffen the powere playn, 

And drede the noght 1 of thi conyng. 160 

sending two 
angels in 
token of His 


Towneley Plays. XIX. John the Baptist. 

The second 
angel bids 
John baptise 
God's dear 
child here 
sent to him. 



the here his awne dere 

The first 
shows that 
Jesus has 
come to ful- 
fil the Law. 

John trem- 
bles and 
quakes and 
will not 
touch Jesus 
Avith his 
hand, but 
will not lose 
his meed. 

He baptises 
Jesus in the 
name of 
Father, Son, 
and Holy 
Ghost, and 
begs His 

He anoints 
Him also 

Secimdus angelws. 

Thou welconi hym and make hym chore, 
Born of a madyn meke and mylde, 

That 1 frely foode is made thi fere ; 164 

with syn his moder was neuer fylde, 

Ther was neuer man neghyd hyr nere, 
In word ne wark she was neuer wylde, 

Therfor hir son thou baptyse here. 168 

Primus angelus. And, securly, I wiH thou knaw 

whi that 1 he commys thus vnto the ; 
he co??zmys to fulfyH the law, 

As pereles prynce most of pauste ; 172 

And therfor, Iohn, do as thou awe, 

And gruch thou neuer in this degre 
To baptyse hym that 1 thou here saw, 

flor wyt 1 thou weH this same is he. 176 

Johannes. I am not 1 worthy to do this dede ; 

Neuer the les I wiH be godys seruande ; 
Bot 1 yit 1 , dere lord, sen I must 1 nede, 

I wiH do as thou has co??raiaunde. 180 

I tremyH and I whake for drede ! 

I dar not towclie the with my hande, 
Bot, cevtys, I wiH not lose my mede ; 

Abyde, my lord, and by me stande. 184 

(24) [He baptises Jesus.] 

I baptyse the, Ihesu, in hy, 

In the name of thi fader fre, 
In nomine patfris & filii, 

Sen he wiH that it so be, 188 

Et 1 spiritus altissimi, 

And of the holy goost on he ; 
I aske the, lord, of thi mercy, 

here after that 1 thou wold blys me. 192 

here I the anoynt also 

with oyle and crenie, in this intent, 

Towneley Plays. XIX. Iohn the Bcvpiid. 


That 1 men may wit, where so thay go, 

This is a worthy sacrament 1 . 
Ther ar sex 1 othere and no mo, 

The which thi self to erthe has sent, 
And in true tokyn, oone of tho, 

The fyrsf on the now is if spent. 2 

Thou wysh me, lord, if I do wrang ; 

My will if were f orto do weytt ; 
I am ful ferd yif ay emang, 

If I dyd right I shuld done knele. 
Thou blys me, lord, hence or thou gang, 

So thaf I may thi frenship fele ; 
I haue desyryd this sight ful lang, 

ffor to dy now rek I no dele. 

iftesus. This beesf, Iohn, thou here with the, 
If is a beesf furl blyst \ 

hie tradaft ei agnum dei. 

Iohn, if is the lamb of me, 

Beesf none othere ist ; 
If may were the from aduersyte, 

And so looke thaf thou tryst ; 
By this beesf knowen shall thou be, 

Thaf thou arf Iohn baptyst. 

lohajmes. ffor I haue sene the lamb of god 

which weshys away syn of this warld*, 
And towchid hym, for euen or od, 

My harf therto was ay ful hard, 
ffor thaf it shuld be better trowed, 

An angeH had me nerehand mard, 
Bof he thaf rewlys ali with his rod 

he blys me when I draw homward. 









with oil and 

This is the 
first of the 
Seven Sacra- 

He prays the 
Lord pardon 
him if he do 

[Fol. 66, b.] 

Christ de- 
livers to him 
His Lamb as 
a token. 

John prays 
he may be 
blest as he 

1 MS. vj originally, but the v has been erased. 

2 Stanza 25 has been struck through, evidently after the Reform- 
ation, because Seven Sacraments are named ; and in the margin is 
added, in a later hand, " corectyd & not playd." 


Towneley Plays. XIX. lohn the Baptist. 

Jesus pro- 
mises bliss 
to him, and 
to all who 
believe this 
tale and saw 
Him not yet 

Ihesus. I graunt the, lohn, for tlii trauale, 

Ay lastand ioy in blys to byde ; 
And to arl those that 1 trowys this tayH, 

And saw me not 1 yit 1 gloryfyde. 
I shalbe boytt 1 of aH thare bayH, 

And send them socoure on every syde; 
My fader and I may thaym auayR, 

Man or woman that 1 leyff/ys thare pryde. 



He bids 
John go 
forth and 
preach to 
the people. 

Bot 1 , lohn, weynd thou furth and preche 

Agans the folk that 1 doth amys ; 
And to the pepyH the trow the thou teche ; 

To rightwys way look thou tham avys, 
And as far as thi wyt 1 may reche 

Byd thaym be bowne to byde my blys ; 
ffor at 1 the day of dome I shaH thaym peche 

That 1 herys not 1 the nor trowys not 1 this. 



He Himself 
must die for 
their sins, 

and He now 
bids John 
farewell and 
blesses Him. 

Byd thaym leyfe syn, for I it 1 hate ; 

ffor it 1 I mon dy on a tre, 
By prophecy ff uH weli I wate ; 

My mode?* cevtys that 1 sight 1 mon se, 
That 1 sorowfuH sight 1 shaH make hir maytt, 

ffor I was born of hir body, 
ffarweli lohn, I go my gaytt; 

I blys the with the trynyte ! 


John thanks 
God for His 


Ioharmes. Almyghty god in persons thre, 

AH in oone substance ay ingroost, 
I thank the, lord in mageste, 

ffader and son and holy goost ! 
Thou send thi son from heuen so he, 

To mary mylde, into this cooste, 
And now thou send//s hym vnto me, 

fTor to be baptysid in this oost 1 . 



Towneley Plays. XIX. Iohn the Baptist. 


ffarweH ! the frelyst that 1 eue?' was fed ! 

ffarweH ! floure more fresh t\\zn floure de lyce ! 
ffarweH ! stersman to theym that 1 ar sted 

In stormes, or in desese ]yse ! 
Thi mode?* was madyn and wed ; 

ffarweH ! pereles, most 1 of pryce ! 
ffarweH ! the luflyst 1 that 1 euer was bred ! 

Thi moder is of heH emprise. 
ffarweH ! blissid both bloode and bone ! 

ffarweH ! the semelyst 1 that euer was seyn ! 
To the, ihesu, I make my mone ; 

ffarweH ! comly, of cors so cleyn ! 
ffarwel ! gracyouse gome ! where so thou gone, 

fful mekiH grace is to the geyn • 
Thou leyne vs lyffyng on thi lone, 

Thou may vs 111 end e more the?^ we weyn. 
I wyH go preche both to more and les, 

As I am chargyd securly ; 
Syrs, forsake youre wykydnes, 

Pryde, envy, slowth, wrath, and lechery, 
here gods se?Tiice, 1 more & lesse ; 

Pleas god with prayng, thus red I ; 
Be war when deth comys with dystres, 

So that 1 ye dy not sodanly. 
Deth sparis none that 1 lyf has borne, 

Therfor thynk on what I you say ; 
Beseche youre god both euen and morne 

you for to saue from syn that day. 
Thynk how in baptym ye ar sworne 

To be god-as seruand/s, withoutten nay ; 
let neuer his luf from you be lorne, 

God bryng you to his blys for ay. Amen. 

Explicit Baptists. 







John apos- 


His mother 

OCA isEm P reSS 

264 of Hell. 

He is the 
that ever 
was seen. 

[Fol. 67. a. 
Big. 1. 3.] 
He preaches 
to the people 
to forsake 

Death spares 
none, so let 
them not 
lose God's 

1 The words " God's service, more and 
hand, the original words having been erased. 



Toionclcy Plays. XX. The Conspiracy. 

Pilate calls 
for silence. 

He is the 
grandsir of 
and is called 

He can make_ 
or mar a 
man, like^ 
men of court 

Incipit Ccwspiraczo. 1 

[2 thirteen-line stanzas nos. 97, 100, ab ab ab abc, dddc ; 1 twelve, 
no. 16 ab abb cbcb, abc ; 7 nine-line, nos. 1-5, aaaab cccb ; 
nos. 99, 102, ab abc dddc ; 24 eight-line, most ab ab ab ab, 
no. 6 aaaab aab, no. 107, ab abb cbc, no. 117 ab ab cb cb ; 90 
fours ab ab ; 46 couplets. 


Primus Miles. 
Secundus Miles. 


[Dramatis Personae. 


S. Johannes. 





Marcus Miles.] 


eas, carles, I commaunde 2 / vnconand I carl you ; 
I say stynt 1 and stande / or four! myglit befall 

ffro this burnyshyd brande / now when I 
behald you, 
I red ye be shunand / or els the dwiH skald you, 

At 1 onys. 5 

I am kyd, as men knawes, 
leyf leder of lawes ; 
Seniours, seke to my sawes, 

nor bryssyng of youre bonys. 9 

ye wote not wel, I weyn / what wat is co?mnen to the towne, 
So comly cled and cleyn / a rewler of great renowne ; 
In sight 1 if I were seyn / the granser of great mahowne, 
My name pylate has beyn / was neuer kyiig with crown e 

More wor[thy] ; 14 

My wysdom and my wytt, 
In sete here as I sytt, 
was neuer more lyke it H , 

My dedys thus to dyscry. 1 8 

ffor I am he that may / make or mar a man ; 
My self if I it say / as men of cowrte now can ; 

1 In the MS. Conspiracio is followed by the letter c. 

2 The bars / marking the central rymes are represented in the 
MS. by dots : 

Tovmchy Plays. XX. The, Conspiracy. 


Supporte a man to day / to-morn agans hym than, 
On both parties thus I play / And fenys me to ordan 

The right ; 23 

Bot 1 aH fals indytars, 1 
Quest 1 mangers and Iurers, 
And aH thise fals out rydars, 

Ar welcom to my sight. 27 


More nede had I rieuer / of sich seruand now, I say you, 
So can I weH consider / the trowth. I most displeas you, 
And tlierfor com I hedyr / of peas therfor I pray you ; 
Ther is a lurdan ledyr / I wold not shuld dysmay you, 

A bowtt ; 32 

A prophete is he prasyd, 
And great vnright has rasyd, 
Bot 1 , be my banys her blasid, 

his deth is dight no dowtt. 


he pfechys the pepyH here / that fature fals ihesus, 
That 1 if he lyf a yere / dystroy oure law must vs ; 
And yit 1 I stand in fere / so wyde he wyrkys vertus, 
No fawtf can on hym here / no lyfand leyde tyH us ; 

Bott sleyghtys 
Agans hym shall be soght, 
that 1 aH this wo has wroght ; 
Bot on his bonys it shaH be boght, 

So shaH I venge oure rightys. 


That 1 fatoure says that 1 thre / shuld euer dwell in oone 

That 1 euer was and shaH be / Sothfast in man hede ; 
he says of a madyn born was he / that 1 neuer toke mans 




And that 1 his self shaH dy on tre / and mans sawH out of 
preson lede ; 
let hym alone, 50 

If this be true in deyd, 
his shech shaH spryng and sprede, 

And ouer com euer ylkone. 53 

1 MS. "indydytars." 

False in- 
gers, jurors, 
and all 
these false 
outriders are 
dear to him. 

[Fol. 67, b.] 

He has 
heard of a 
lazy rascal 
praised as a 

If He live a 
year He will 
destroy their 
law, but yet 
Pilate is in 
fear of Him. 

This fellow 
says that 
three per- 
sons shall 
dwell in one 
that He was 
born of a 
maiden, and 
shall be 


Touiwley Plays* XX. The Conspiracy. 

asks Pilate's 
advice as to 

Cayphas. Syr pilate, prynco of mekyH price, 

that preuyd is withouttcn pere, 
And lordyng?/s that oure laws in lyse, 

on oure law now must vs lere, 
And of oure warkys we must 1 be wyse, 

or els is all oure welthe in were, 
Therfor say sadly youre auyse, 

of hedus harmes that we haue here, 



arising from Towchyns that tratoure Strang, 

that strong , , , . , , o 

traitor. that 1 makys this beleyf, 

fiior if he may thus furth gang, 
It 1 wiH ouer greatly grefe. 


Anna sup- 
ports him. 

Pilate says 
they must 
find some 
privy point 
to mar 

Anna, Sir, oure folk ar so afrayd, 

thrugh lesyns he losys oure lay ; 
Som remedy must be rayd, . 

so that he weyncl* not 1 thus away. 
pilatus. Now eertan, syrs, this was werl sayd, 

and I assent, right as ye say, 
Som preuay poynt 1 to be puruayd 

To mar his myght 1 if [that] we may ; 

And therfor, sirs, in this present, 

What poynt so were to prase, 
let aH be at 1 assent 1 , 

let se what ilk man says. 




Cayphas and 
Anna en- 
large on the 
danger from 


Cayphas. Sir, I haue sayde you here beforne 

his soteltyes and* greiys to sare ; 
he turnes oure folk both euen & morne, 

and ay mak^s mastres mare & mare. 
Anna. Sir, if he skape it were great skorne ; 

to spyll hym tytt we wirl not 1 spare, 
ffor if oure lawes were thus-gat?/s lorne, 

men wold say it were lake of hire. 



Towneley Plays. XX. The Conspiracy. 


pilatus. ffor certan, syrs, ye say right 1 weyH 

ffor to wyrk witterly ; 
Bot 1 yit soni fawt must 1 we feyH, 

wherfor that 1 he shuld dy ; 


And therfor, sirs, let se youre saw, 

ffor what* thyng we shuld hym slo. 
Cayphas. Sir, I can rekyn you on a raw 

a thowsand wonders, and weH moo, 
Of crokyd men, that we weH knaw, 

how graythly that 1 he gars them go, 
And euer he legys agans oure law, 

tempys oure folk and turnys vs fro. 




rFol. 68, a. 
Sig. 1. 4.j 

Pilate says 
they must 
find some 
fault for 
which He is 
to die. 

says Christ 
the crooked, 
and is 
tempting the 
people from 
the law. 

Anna, lord, dom and defe in oure present 

delyuers he, by downe & day 11 ; 
what huvtys or ha[r]mes thay hent, 

ffuH hastely he mtikys theym hayH. 
And for sich wark?/s as he is went 

of ilk welth he may avayH, 
And vnto vs he tokys no tent, 

hot 1 ilk man trowes vnto his tayH. 



He takes no 
heed unto 


Pilatus. yei, dewiH ! and dos he thus 

as ye weH here wytnes 1 
sich fawte fall to vs, 

be oure dom, for to redres. 


Pilate says 
he must re- 
dress this. 

Cayphas. And also, sir, I haue hard say, 

an other noy that 1 neghys vs nere, 
he wiH not 1 kepe oure sabate day, 

that 1 holy shuld be haldyn here ; 
Bot forbedys far and nere 

to wyrk at 1 oure bydyng. 
Pilatus. Now, by mahowns bloode so dere, 

he sliaH aby this bowrdyng ! 



Also, Cay- 
phas says 
breaks the 


Towneley Plays. XX. The Conspiracy. 

Anna says 
Christ calls 

Pilate will 
make Christ 
pay dearly 
for this. 

The knights 
recall the 
raising of 

The people 
think Jesus 
God's Son. 

Pilate com- 
knight and 
knave to he 
forward to 
slay Him. 



what dewiH wiH he be there 1 

this hold I great 1 hethyng. 
Anna. Nay, nay, well more is ther ; 

he callys hym self heuens kyng, 121 

And says that he is so myghty 

aH rightwytnes to rewH and red. 
pilatus. By mahowns blood, that shall he aby 

with bytter baylls or I ett bred ! 
primus Miles, lord, the loth lazare of betany 

that lay stynkand in a sted, 
vp he rasyd bodely 

the fourfr day after he was ded. 


Secundus Miles. And for that he hym rasyd, 

that had lyne dede so long a space, 
The people hym full mekyH prasyd? 

ouer all in euery place. 133 


Anna. Emang?/s the folke has he the name 

that 1 he is go&ys son, and* none els, 
And his self says the same 

that his fader in heuen dwelles ; 137 

That 1 he shall rewrl both wyld? and tame ; 

of aH sich maters thus he mels. 
Pilatus. This is the dwylis payn ! 1 

who trowys sich talys as he tels? 141 

Cayphas. yis, lord, hane here my hand 1 , 

and ilk man beyld^/s hym as his brother ; 
Sich whaynt cantelys he can, 

lord, ye knew neuer sich an othere. 145 

Pilatxis. why, and wotys he not 1 that I haue 

bold men to be his bayn 1 
I commaunde both knyght and knaue 

sesse not to that lad be slayn. 149 

assonance with tame, kc. 

Toteneley Plays. XX. The, Conspiracy. 209 


pxmms Miles. Sir pylate, mefe you now no mare, 1 The first 

bott mese youre hart and mend youre mode ; they will 

ffor bot if that loseH lere oure lare x in tn e eS 

and leyf his gawd?/s, he were as goode ; 153 

ffor in oure tempyH we wiH not spare [Foi. 68, b.] 

to take that loseH, if he were woode. 
Pilatus. In oure tempyH % the dwiH ! what dyd he thare 1 Pilate is 

that shall he by, by mahou??s blode ! 157 ms being 

/f)o\ there. 

Secxmdus Miles, lord, we wist not* youre wyH; if the 

., -, , knights had 

with wrang ye vs wyte ; known this 

had ye so told vs tyH, have Sen 

we shuld haue takyn hym tyte. 161 Je ^hefore. 

Pilatus. The dwiH, he hang you high to dry ! Pilate orders 

whi, wold ye lese oure lay 1 mediate 

Go bryng hym heder hastely, 

so that he weynd not 1 thus away. 165 

Cayphas. Sir pilate, be not to hasty, Cayphas 

bot 1 suffer ouer oure sabote day ; wait till 

In the mene tyme to spyr and spy next alb- 

mo of his meruels, if men may. 169 they may* 

Anna, yei, sir, and when this feste is went, 

then shaH his craftys be kyd. 
Pilatus. Cei'tys, syrs, and I assent Pilate 

ffor to abyde then, as ye byd. 173 

Tunc vend Iudas. 

spy on 



Iudas. Masters, myrth be you emang, judas greets 

and mensk be to this meneye ! badly re^ 

Cayphas. Go ! othere gat?/s thou has to gang ceived. 

with sorow; who send after the'? 177 

Iudas. Syrs, if I haue done any wrang, 

at 1 youre awne bydyng wiH I be. 
Pilatus. Go hence, harlot, hy mot 1 thou hang ! 

where in the dwiH hand had we the 1 181 

1 MS. more, lore. 


Towneley Plays. XX. The Conspiracy. 

says Judas 
should ask 
leave before 

Judas knows 
they mean 
to take his 

Pilate bids 
them lay 
hands on 
him for his 

Cayphas ' 
orders him 
to be 

Judas offers 
to sell 

Pilate is 
ready to hear 

Anna, asks 
who he is. 

He is Judas 
who has 
dwelt long 
with Jesus. 




Tudas. Goode sir, take it to no grefe j 

for my menyng it 1 may avayll. 
Anna, we, lad, thou shuld ask lefe 

to com in sich counsayH. 185 

Iudas. Sir, aH youre counserl weft 1 I ken ; 

ye mene my master for to take. 
Anna. A ha ! here is oone of his men 

that thus vnwynly gars vs wake. 
Pilatus. la hand on hym, and hurl hym then 

emsmgys yon, for his master sake ; 
ffor we haue maters mo then ten, 

that weH more myster were to make. 
Cayphas. Set on hym buffettys sad, 

Sen he sich mastrys mase, 
And teche ye sich a lad 

to profer hym in sich a' place. 

Iudas. Sir, my profer may both pleas and pay 

to aH the loidys in this p?-esent. 
Pilatus. we ! go hens in twenty 2 dwiH way ! 

we haue no tome the for to tent. 201 

Iudas. yis, the profete that has lost youre lay 

by wonder wark?/s, as he is went, 
If ye wiH sheynd hym as ye say, 

to seH hym you I wyH assent. 205 

Pilatus. A, sir, hark ! what says thou 1 

let se, and shew thi skyli. 
Iudas. Sir, a bargan bede I you, 

by if if ye will. 209 


Anna, what is thi name 1 do teH in hy, 
if we may wit if thou do wrang. 

Iudas. Iudas scariotb, so hight I, 
that with the profet has dwellyd lang. 213 

MS. will. 

2 MS. xx. 

Toivnelcy Plays. XX. The Conspiracy. 

1'ilatu.s. Sir, thou art welcom witterly ! 

say what thou wiH vs here emang. 
Iudas. Not els bot if ye witl: hym by ; 

do say me sadly or I gang. 

Cayphas. yis, freynd, in fathe witt we 

noght els ; bot hartely say 
how that bargan may be, 

and we shaH make the pay. 

Anna. Iudas, forto hold the hayH, 

And for to feH aH fowtt defame, 
looke that 1 thou may avow thi sayli ; 

then may tliou be withoutten blame. 
Iudas. Sir, of my teyn gyf ye neuer taytt, 

so that 1 ye haue hym here at hame ; 
his bowrdyng has me broght in bayH, 

and ceitys his self shaH haue the same. 

Cayphas. Sir pylate, tentys here tyH, 

and lightly leyf it noght 1 , 
Then may ye do youre wyH 

of hym that ye haue boght 1 . 

Anna, yei, and then may we be bold 

fro aH the folk to hald hym fre ; 
And hald hym hard with vs in hold, 

right 1 as oone of youre meneye. 
pilatus. Now, Iudas, sen he shalbe sold, 

how lowfes thou hym 1 belyfe let se. 
Iudas. ffor thretty x pennys truly told, 

or els may not* that bargan be ; 

So mych garfr he me lose, 

malycyusly and yli ; 
Therfor ye shaH haue chose, 

to by or let be styH. 









Judas re- 
peats his 
offer to sell 

Cayphas and 
Anna are 
willing to 
buy, but 
Judas must 



Judas says 
Jesus has 
brought him 
trouble, and 
shall have 

Cayphas and 
Anna ex- 
hort Pilate 
to listen. 

Pilate in- 
quires the 
price of 
Jesus ; 
Judas asks 
thirty pence, 

so much had 
Jesus made 
him lose. 


1 MS. xxx. 


TovmeUy Plays. XX. The Conspiracy. 

Anna asks 
how Jesus 
made him 
lose it. 

Judas tells 
how in 

Anna. Gart 1 he the lose ? I pray the, why % 

teH vs now pertly or thou pas. 
Iudas. I shall you say, and that in hy, 

euery word right as it 1 was. 
In symon house with hym sat I 

with othere mene^e that 1 he has ; 
A woman cam to company, 

callyng hym " lord " ; sayng, " alas ! " 



a woman 

ffor synnes that 1 she had wroghf 

she wepyd sore always ; 
And an oyntment 1 she broghf, 

that 1 precyus was to prayse. 


and poured 
it upon 


She weshyd hym with hir terys weytt, 

and sen dryed hj?n with hir hare ; 
This fare oyntment, hir bale to beytt, 

apon his hede she put 1 it thare, 
That 1 it ran aH abowte his feytt ; 

I thoght it 1 was a ferly fare, 
The house was fuH of odowre sweytt ; 

then to speke myght 1 I not 1 spare, 



Judas had 
never seen 
such fine 

ffor, ceitys, I had not 1 seyn 

none oyntment 1 half so fyne ; 
Ther-at my hart 1 had teyn, 

sich tresoure for to tyne. 


He said at 
the time it 
was worth 
three hun- 
dred pence, 
which might 
have been 
given to the 
poor, out of 
which lie 
would have 
kept thirty 
for himself. 

I sayd it was worthy to seH 

thre hundreth pens in oure present 1 , 
ffor to parte poore men emell ; 

bot 1 will ye se wherby I ment 1 
The tent 1 parte, truly to teH, 

to take to me was myne intent 1 ; 
ffor of the tresure that to vs fell, 

the tent 1 parte ewer with me went 1 ; 



Townclcy Plays. XX. The Conspiracy. 




And if thre 1 hundreth be right told, 

the tent* parte is euen thryrty ; 
Eight so he shalbe sold* ; 

say if ye wiH hym by. 281 

Pilatus. Now for certan, sir, thou says right wele, 

sen he wate the with sich a wrast, 
ffor to shape hym som vncele, 

and for his bostf be not abast. 
Anna. Sir, aii thyn askyng euery dele 

here shaft thou hafe, therof be trast ; 
Bot looke that 1 we no falshede fele. 

Iudas. sir, with a profe may ye frast ; 
Aft that I haue here hight 

I shall fulfill in dede, 
And weft more at my myght, 

In tyme when I se nede. 293 

Pilatus. Iudas, this spekyng must be spar, 

and neuen iV- neuer, nyght ne day ; 
let 1 no man wyt where that we war, 

for ferdnes of a fowH enfray. 297 

Cayplias. Sir, therof let vs moyte no mare ; 

we hold vs payde, take ther thi pay. 

[Giving him money.'] 
Iudas. This gart 1 he me lose lang are ; 

now ar we euen for onys and ay. 301 

Anna. This forwarde wiH not fay ft, 

therof we may be glad ; 
Now were the best counsayrl, 

in hast that we hyni had?. 305 

Pilatxis. we shall hym haue, and that in hy, 

nuH hastely here in this haft. 
Sir knyght?/s, that ar of dede dughty, [To the knights.] 

stynt neuer in stede ne start, 309 

1 MS. iij. 

So for these 
thirty pence 
he will sell 

praises him. 

Anna pro- 
mises what 
he asks. 

[Fol. 69, b.] 

Judas pro- 
mises to 
make good 
his offer. 

Pilate en- 

pays Judas, 

who says he 
is now even 
with Jesus. 

Anna asks 
how they 
may best 
take Jesus. 


Toiuneley Plays. XX. The Conspiracy. 

Pilate bids 
his knights 
bring the 
at once. 

John asks 
Jesus where 
He will eat 
His Pass- 

He bids 
John and 
Peter go to 
the city, 
there they 
shall meet a 
man bearing 
water, who 
will lend 
a room for 
them to eat 
it in. 

They meet 
the "pater- 
who offers 
them a room 
in which to 
make their 

Bot looke ye bryng hym hastely, 

that 1 fatur fals, what 1 so "befaii. 
pximws, Miles. Sir, be not abast 1 therby, 

ffor as ye bycl wyrk we shaft. 313 

[All retire : then Jesus & his disciples advance.] 

Tunc dicet sanctus Ioh&mnes. 

Iohzni\es apostolus. Sir, where wiR ye youre pask ette 1 
Say vs, let vs dight youre mete. 
j%esus. Go furth, Iohn and peter, to yond cyte ; 






Tunc pergent Iohsames & petrus ad Cluitatem, & oouiet 
eis ho?no, &c. 

Sir, oure master the prophett 

commys behynde in the strete ; 

And of a chamber he you prays, 

To ete and drynk ther-in with easse. 337 

paterfamilias. Sirs, he is welcom vnto me, 

and so is art his company ; 

with aH my hart and aH my wiH 

is he welcom me vntyH. 341 

lo, here a chambre fast by, 

Ther-in to make youre mangery, 

when ye com ther, ye shaH then se 
In the strete, as tyte, a man 
beryng water in a can ; 
The house that 1 he gose to grith, 
ye shaH folow and go hym with ; 
The lord of that house ye shaH fynde, 
A sympyH man of cely kynde ; 
To hym ye shaH speke, and say 
That I com here by the way ; 
Say I pray hym, if his wiH be, 
A lytyH whyle to ese me, 
That 1 I and my dyscypyls aH 
myght rest a whyle in his haH, 
That* we may ete oure paske thore. 
petrus. lord, we shaH hy vs before, 
To that we com to that 1 cyte ; 
youre paske shaH ordand be. 

Towneley Plays. XX. The Conspiracy. 



I shal warand fare strewed ; 

it shukJ? not els to you be shewed'. 345 

Tunc parent Ioh&mies & petrus mensam, 
Johannes. Sir, youre mett is redy bowne, [Jesus enters.] 
wiH ye wesh and syt downe 1 
Ihesus. yei, gyf vs water tyH cure hande, 
take we the grace that god has send ; 349 

Commys furth, both oone and othere ; 
If I be maste?* I wiH be brothere. 

Tune comedent, & Iudas porrujit manum in discum 
cum. Ihesu. 

Iudas, what* menys thou ? 
Iudas. No thyng, lord, bot 1 ett 1 with you. 
Ihesus. Ett on, brether, hardely, 
for oone of you snarl [me] betray. 1 
Petrus. lord, who euer that be may, 
lord, I shaR neuer the betray ; 
Dere master, is it oght I % 
Ihesus. Nay thou, peter, certanly. 
Ioh an lies. Master, is oght 1 I he then 1 
Ihesus. Nay, for trowth, Iolm, I the ken. 361 

Andreas. Master, am oght [I] that shrew ? 
Ihesus. Nay, for sothe, thou andrew. 
Simon. Master, then is oght 1 1 

Ihesus. Nay, thou Simon, securly. 365 

phil'ppus. Is it oght I that shuld do that dede 1 
Ihesus. Nay, philyp, withoutten drede. 
Thadeus. was it oght I that hight thadee % 
lacobus. Or we two Iamys 1 

Ihesus. Nay none of you is he; 369 

Bot 1 he that 1 ett with me in dysh, 
he shall my body betray, Iwys. 
Iudas. what then, wene ye that 1 I if am % 
Ihesus. Thou says sothe, thou berys the blame ; 373 

Ichon of you shall this nyght 
ifbr sake me, and fayn he myght. 
Iohsiuues. Nay certys, god forbeyd 

that euer shuld we do that deyd ! 377 

1 This betray is evidently meant to ryme with hardely. 

John tells 
Jesus the 
meat is 

He bids the 
disciples eat 
with Him. 

[Fol. 70, a.] 

One of them 
shall betray 

35/ First Peter, 
then seven 
others ask, 
"Is it I?" 

It is he that 
eats with 
Jesus in the 
dish. "Wene 
ye, that I it 
am?" asks 
Judas, and is 
told he says 
sooth. All 
shall forsake 

216 Towneley Plays. XX. The Conspiracy. 

Peter says petrus. If aH, master, forsake the, 

he will never . 

flee from saati 1 neuer iro the fie. 

and is told Ihesus. Peter, thou shall thryse apon a thraw 
sake Him fforsake me, or the cok craw. 381 

cockcrow. Take vp this clothe and let vs go, 
fibr we haue othere thyng?/s at do. 

hie lauet pedes discipulorum. 
Jesus begins Sit aH downe, and here and sees, 

to wash the 

disciples* ffor I shaH wesh youre feet on knees. 385 

feet. J 

Ett mittens aquam in peluim veniV ad petrum. 

Peter at first Petrus. lord, shuld thou wesh f eyttt myne 1 

thou art* my lord, and I thy hyne. 

Ihesus. why I do it thou wote not 1 yit, 

peter, herafter shall thou wytfr. 389 

Petrus. Nay, master, I the heytt, 

thou shaH neuer wesh my feytt. 

Ihesus. Bot I the wesh, thou mon mys 

parte with me in heuens blys. 393 

hut after- Petrus. Nay, lord, or I that 1 forgo, 
that head wesh heede, hsmdys, and feytt also, 
maybe Ihesus. ye ar clene, bott not 1 all; 

that* shall be sene when tyme shaH fall ; 397 

who shaH be weshyn as I weyn, 

he thar not 1 wesh his feytt clene ; 

And for sothe clene ar ye, 

bof not 1 aH as ye shuld? be. 401 

[Foi. 70, b.] I shaH you say take good hede 

whi that 1 1 haue done the dede ; 
Jesus ex- ye caH me master and lord, by name ; 

plains the „ ,, up t 

lesson of ye say full weR, for so I am ; 

humility. g ea -^ yyrffa \ 0I( [ an d master, to you wold knele 

to wesh youre fete, so must ye wele. 407 

Now wote ye what 1 I haue done ; 
EnsampyH haue I gyffen you to ; 
Let each loke ye do so eft 1 sone ; 
oTheVs^eet. Ichon of you wesh othere fete, lo ! 411 

Toivnclcy Flays. XX. The Conspiracy. 



ffor he that 1 sera and is, 

for sothe, as I say yon, 
Not 1 more then his lord* he is, 

to whonie he seruyce owe. 

Or that 1 this nyght be gone, 

Alone wili ye leyf me ; 
ffor in this nyght 1 ilkon 

ye shaH fro me fie ; 

ffor when the hyrd is smeten, 

the shepe shaH fle away, 
Be skaterd wyde and byten ; 

the p?"opheto/s thus can say. 
Petrus. lord, if that I shuld dy, 

fforsake the shaH I noghtt. 
JViesus. ffor sothe, peter, I say to the, 

In so great 1 drede shaH thou be broghf, 
That 1 or the cok haue crowen twyse, 

thou shali deny me tymes thre. 
Petrus. That 1 shaH I neuer, lord, Iwys ; 

ere shaH I with the de. 

Iliesus. Now loke youre hart?/s be grefyd noghtf, 

nawthere in drede ne in wo ; 
Bot 1 trow in god, that 1 you has wroght 1 , 

and in me trow ye also ; 

In my fader house, for sothe, 

is many a wonnyng stede, 
That 1 men shaH haue aftyr thare trowthe, 

soyn after thay be dede. 

And here may I no longer leynd, 

bot 1 I shaH go before, 
And yit 1 if I before you weynd, 

ffor you to ordan thore, 








For tlie 
servant is 
not more 
than the 

Jesus re- 
peats that 
they will 
forsake Him. 

When the 
herdsman is 
smitten the 
sheep flee. 

Peter says 
he will not 
Jesus, but is 
told that ere 
the cock 
crow twice 
he will deny 
Him thrice. 

Let them not 
be grieved, 

in His 

house are 
" woning 

He goes be- 
fore to or- 
dain for 
them there. 


218 Townchy Plays. XX. The Conspiracy. 

He will I shall com to you agane, 

come to 

them again. and take you to me, 

That 1 where so euer I am 1 , 
ye shall be with me. 


He is the 
Way, the 
Truth, and 
the Life. 

He will not 
leave them 

The world 
shall not s( 
Him, but 
they shall. 

In heaven 
they shall 
know that 
He is in the 
Father, and 
the Father 
in Him. 

He in them, 
and they in 

And I am way, and sothe-fastnes, 

and* lyfe that 1 euer shalbe ; 
And to my fader co?wmys none, Iwys, 

hot 1 oonly thorow me. 

I wiH not 1 leyf you aH helples, 

as men withoutten freynd, 
As faderles and modeiies, 

thof aH I fro you weynd ; 

I shall com eft to you agayn : 

this warld? shatt me not 1 se, 
Bot 1 ye shaft se me weH certan, 

and lyfand shaH I be. 

And ye shaft lyf in heuen ; 

Then shall ye knaw, Iwys, 
That 1 I am in my fader euen, 

and my fader in me is. 

And I in you, and ye in me, 

and ilka man therto, 
My co??zmaundement that 1 kepys trule, 

and after it 1 wiH do. 







Let them be 
glad of His 

Now haue ye hard what I haue sayde ; 
I go, and com agayn ; 
[Foi. n, a.] Therfor loke ye be payde, 
and also glad and f ayn ; 


assonance with agane. 

Toivneley Plays. XX. The Conspiracy. 


ffor to my fader I weynd ; 

ffor more then I is he ; 
I let you wyttt , as faythfuH freynd, 

or that 1 it done be, 

That 1 ye may trow when it* is done ; 

nor cerfa/s, I may noght now 
Many thyng?/s so soyn 

at 1 this tyme speake with you ; 

ffor the prynce of this warld is co??zmyn, 

and na powere has he in me, 
Bofr as that 1 aH the warld within 

may both here and se, 

That 1 1 owe luf my fader to, 

Sen he me hyder sent 1 , 
And aH thyngys I do 

after his co??imaundemenf . 




For He goes 
to His 

There are 
many things 
He may not 
say to them 

for the 
prince of 
this world is 
coming, that 
all may see 

His obedi- 
ence to Hi 



Ryse ye vp, ilkon, 

and weynd we on oure way, 
As fast as we may gone, 

to olyuete, to pray. 


Peter, Iamys, and thou Iohn, 

ryse vp and folow me ! 
My tyme if coramys anone ; 

Abyde styll here, ye thre. 

Say youre prayers here by-neth, 

that ye faH in no f owdyng ; 
My sawH is heuy agans the deth 

and the sore pynyng. 

Tunc orabitt, & dicef, 




Let them go 
to Olivet to 

He bids 
James, and 
John follow 

and pray. 
His soul is 


Townelcy Plays. XX. The Conspiracy. 

Jesus prays. 

He finds the 
and bids 
them watch 
against the 

He will pray 
for them. 

He prays 

Again finds 
them sleep- 

He prays a 
third time. 


ffader, let this great payn be styH, 

And pas away fro me ; 

Bot not 1 , fader, at 1 my wyli, 

bot 1 thyn fulfyllyd be. 

& reuevtet ad dtscipvdos. 
Symon, I say, slepys thou 1 

awake, I red you aH ! 
The feynd ful fast salys you, 
In wan-hope to gar you faH ; 
Bot 1 I shaH pray my fader so » 

that 1 his myght shall not dere ; 
My goost is prest therto, 
my flesh is seke for fere. 

& itexum orauit. 


ffader, thi son I was, 

of the I aske this boyn ; 

If 1 This payn may not pas, 

fader, thi wiH be doyn! 

& reuertet ad discipxflos. 

Ye slepe, brether, yit I see, 

it 1 is for sorow that 1 ye do so ; 
Ye haue so long wepyd for me 

that ye ar masyd and lappyd in wo. 
& tercio orabiti : 
Dere fader, thou here my wyli ! 

this passyon thou put 1 fro me away ; 
And if I must 1 nedys go ther-tyH, 
I shall fulfill thi wyH to-day ; 
Therfor this bytter passyon 

if I may not 1 put by, 
I am here redy at thi doiri ; 

thou comforte me that am drery ! 








m margin. 

Tovmclcy Plays. XX. The Conspiracy. 


Trinitas. My comforte, son, I shaH the tett, 

of thyngys that* feH by reson ; 
As lucyfer, for syn that feH, 

betrayed eue with his fals treson, 531 

Adam assent 1 his wyfe vntyH ; 

the wekyd goost then askyd a bone 
which has hurt mankynde futt yH ; 

this was the wordy s he askyd soyn : 535 

AH that 1 euer of adam com 

holly to hym to take, 
with hym to dwell, withoutten dome, 

In payn that 1 neue?' shaH slake, 539 

(82) ' 
To that 1 a chyld* myght 1 be borne 

of a madyn, and she wemles, 
As cleyn as that 1 she was beforne, 

as puryd syluer or shynand glas ; 1 543 

To tyme that 1 childe to deth were dighf, 

and rasyd hym self apon the thryd* day, 
And stenen to heuen thrugh his awne myght 1 . 

who may do that 1 bot 1 god veray % ' 547 

(84) ' 
Sen thou art 1 man, and nedys must dee, 

and go to heH as othere done, 
Bot 1 that 1 were wrong, withoutten lee,. 

that 1 godys son there shuld won 551 

In payn with his vnder-lowte ; 

wytt 1 ye weH withoutten weyn, 
when oone is borod', aH shaH owtt 1 , 

and borod be from teyn. [Jesus returning to the 

(86) disciples.] 

litems. Slepe ye now and take youre rest ! 

my tyme is nere co??zmand ; 
Awake a whyle, for he is next 1 

that 1 me shaH gyf into synners hand. 559 

[All retire : Pilate, etc. advance.] 
1 ? assonance with wemles, or originally gles? 

The Trinity 

Adam's sin, 

all that came 
from Adam 

[Fol. 71, b.] 

till a child 
might he 
born of a 
pure maiden, 

be done to 
death, rise 
the third 
day, and 
ascend to 
heaven, as 

As man 
Jesus must 
go to Hell, 
but as God 
He may not 
stay there, 

and "when 
one is bor- 
rowed all 
shall out." 

Jesus bids 
His dis- 
ciples sleep 


Towncley Plays. XX. The, Conspiracy. 

Pilate calls 
for silence. 

lie may do 
what he will. 

And will 
break the 
neck of any- 
one who 

He calls on 
Judas to 
keep his 

Judas asks 
for the help 
of the 

They must 
lay hands on 
Him Whom 
he shall 

Pilatns. Peas ! I commaunde you, carles vnkynde, 

to stand as styH as any stone ! 
In donyon depe he shalbe pynde, 

that 1 wiH not 1 sesse his tong anone ; 563 

ffor I am gouernowre of the law ; 

my name it 1 is pilate ! 
I may lightly gar hang you or draw, 

I stand in sich astate, 567 

To do what 1 so I will. 

and therfor peas I byd you arl ! 
And looke ye hold you still, 

and with no brodels braH, 571 

TyH we haue done oure dede ; 

who so mak?/s nose or- cry, 
his nek I shall gar blede, 

with this I bere in hy. 575 

To this tratoure be take, 

that 1 wold dystroy oure lawe, 
Iudas, thou may it 1 not 1 forsake, 

take hede vnto my sawe. , 579 

Thynk what 1 thou has doyn, 

that 1 has thi master sold? ; 
Performe thi bargan soyn ; 

thou has thi money takyn and told'. 583 

Iudas. Ordan ye knyghty/s to weynd with me, 

Eichly arayd in rewyH and rowtt 1 ; 
And aH my couandys holden shall be, 

So I haue felyship me abowte. 587 

Pilatus. wherby, Iudas, shuld we hym knaw, 

If we shall wysely wyrk, Iwys? 
ffor som of vs hym neuer saw. 

Iudas. lay hand on hym that 1 I shall kys. 591 

Towneley . Plays. XX. The Conspiracy. 

Pilatus. haue done, sir knyghtys,and kythe youre strengthe, 

And wap you wightly in youre wecle ; 
Seke ouer aH, both brede and lengthe ! 

Spare ye not 1 , spende and spcde ! 595 

"We haue soght hym les and more, 

And falyd ther we haue farn ; 
Malcus, thou sharl weynd before, [To MalcJws] 

And bere with the a light* lantarne. 599 

Malcus Allies. Sir, this Iornay I vndertake 

with aH my myght* and mayn. 
If I shuld, for mahowns sake, 

here in this place be slayn, 603 

Crist 1 that 1 prophett for to take, 

we may be arl fuH fayn. 
Oure weppyns redy loke ye make, 
to bryng hym in mekyH grame 1 

Thisnyght 1 . , 608 

Go we now on oure way, 
oure mastres for to may ; 
Oure lantarnes take with vs alsway, 

And loke that 1 thay be light ! G12 

Secwndus Miles, Sir pilate, prynce pereles in pari, 

of aH men most 1 myghty merked on mold', 
we ar euer more redy to com at 1 thi caH, 

and bow to thi bydyng as bachlers shold*. 2 616 

Bot 1 that 1 prynce of the apostyls pupplyshed beforne, 

Men caH hym crist 1 , comen of dauid kyn, 
his lyfe fuH sone shalbe forlorne, 
If we haue hap hym forto wyn. 

haue done ! 621 

ffor, as euer ete I breede, 
or I styr in this stede 
I wold stryke of bis hede; 

lord, I aske that 1 boyne. 625 

1 assonance with fayn, &c. 2 MS. sliuld. 


Pilate bids 
the knights 
seek out 

[Fol. 72, a.] 

Malchus is 
to go before 
with a 

Malchus is 
ready to 
die for 
sake, if he 
may take 

The second 
knight bids 
Pilate fare- 

As sure as 
he eats 
bread, he 
will strike 
off Christ's 


Towneley Plays. XX. The Conspiracy. 

The first 
knight pro- 
mises Pilate 
speedy ven- 

Three such 
knights as 
they are 
would bind 
the devil ! 


salutes them 
as courteous 
kaisers of 
Cain's kind. 

and bids 
them bring 
Jesus safe 
and sound 
to him. 

Jesus bids 
Peter arise, 
for Judas if? 

primus miles. That 1 boyn, lord, thou vs bede, 

and on hym wreke the sone we shall ; 
tiro we haue lade on hym good spede ; 

he shall no more hym godys son caH. 629 

we shall marke hym truly his mede ; 

by mahowne most 1 , god. of aH, 
Siche thre knyghtys had lytyH drede 
To bynde the dwiH that we on caH, 

In nede ; 634 

ffor if thay were a thowsand mo, 
that* prophete and his apostels also 
with thise two hand^/s for to slo, 

had I lytyH drede. 638 

pilatus. Now curtes kasers of kamys kyn, 

most* gentyH of lure to me that 1 I fynde, 
My comforth from care may ye sone wyn, 

if ye happely may hent that vnheynde. 642 

Bof go ye hens spedely and loke ye not 1 spare ; 

My frenship, my fortherans, shall euer with you be ; 

And mahowne that 1 is myghfuH he menske you euermare ! 

Bryng you safe and sownde with that brodeH to me ! 

In place 647 

where so euer ye weynd, 
ye knyght?ys so heynde, 
Sir lucyfer the feynde 

he lede you the trace ! [All retire, Jesus & his 

(103) disciples advance.] 

7/i'esus. Byse vp, peter, and go with me, 

and folowe me withoutten stryf e ; 
Iudas wakys, and slepys not 1 he • 

he commjs to betray me here belyfe. 655 

wo be to hym that 1 hvyngys vp slauwder ! 

he were better his dethe to take ; 
Bot 1 com furth, pete?*, and tary no langere : 1 

lo, where thay com that 1 wiH me take ! 659 

1 assonance with slaunder. 

Towncley Plays. XX. The Conspiracy. 




Judas. Rest welt, master, ifresus fre ! 

I pray the that* thou wold kys me enys ; 
I am commen to socoure the ; 

thou art aspyed, what so if menys. 663 

Uiesxis. Iudas ! whi niakys thou sich a brayde 1 

trowys thou not 1 I knowe thi wiH 1 
with kyssyng has thou me betrayd : 

that* shall thou rew som tyme ful yU. 667 

whome seke ye, syrs, by name 1 [To the Knights.] 

Secimdus Miles, we seke ihesu of nazarene. 
J7^esus. I kepe not my name to layn ; 1 

lb, I am here, the same ye mene ; 

Bot 1 whome seke ye with vvepyns kene 1 
Primus Miles. To say the sothe, and not to ly, 

we seke ihesu of nazarene. 
iftesus. I told you ere that 1 it 1 was I. 

Malcus. Dar no man on hym lay hand 1 

I shall each hym, if I may ; 
A flateryng foyH has thou bene lang, 2 

bot 1 now is co?w,men thyn endyng day. 679 

Petrus. I wold be dede within short space 

or I shuld se this sight 1 ! [Cuts of Mai elms' ear.] 

Go, pleyn the to sir cayphas, 

and byd hym do the right 1 ! 683 

Malcus. Alas, the tyme that 1 I was borne, 

or today com in this stede ! 
My right 1 ere I haue forlorne ! 

help, alas, I blede to dede ! 687 


IJiesus. Thou man, that 1 menys thi hurt so sare, 

com heder, let 1 me thi wouwele se ; 
Take me thi ere that 1 he of share : 

In nomine p«£ris hole thou be ! 691 

1 assonance with name. 2 assonance with hand. 


[Fol. 72, 1).] 

Judas asks 
Jesus to kiss 

Jesus says 
that He 

He asks the 
whom they 

"Jesus of 


boasts that 
he will catch 

Peter cuts 
off his ear 
and bids him 
complain to 
Sir Cayphas. 



Jesus re- 
stores his 


Townelcy Plays. XX. The Conspiracy. 

Malchus is 
again eager 
to take 

Jesus ad- 

and re- 
proaches the 

but asks 
them to let 
his "fel- 
lows" go. 

The knights 
bring Jesus 
to Pilate. 

[Fol. 73, a. 
Sig. M. 1.] 

in which He 
Caesar and 

Malcus. Now am I hole as I was ere, 

My hurt 1 is neuer the wars ; 
Therfor, felows, drawe me nere ! 

the dwiH hym spede that 1 hym spars ! 695 

Ihesus. Therfor, peter, I say the this, 

my wiH it 1 is that* ari men witten : 
Put 1 vp thi swerde and do no mys, 

for he that* smytys, he shalbe smytcn. 699 

ye knyghfa/s that* be cowmen now here, 

thus assemblyd in a rowte, 
As I were thefe, or thefys fere, 

with wepyns com ye me abowte ; 703 

Me thynk, for sothe, ye do furl yH . 

thus for to seke me in the nyght 1 ; 
Bot what 1 penance ye put 1 me tyH, 

ye let 1 my felows go with gryth. 707 

Secxmdus Miles. Lede hym furth fast by the gate ! 

hangyd be he that sparis hym oght ! 
Primus Miles, how thynk the, sir pilate, 

bi this brodeH that 1 we haue broght 1 i 711 

Pilatus. Is he the same and the self. I say, 

that 1 has wroght 1 vs this care 1 
It 1 has bene told', sen many a day, 

sayngys of hym fuH sare. 715 

It 1 was tyH vs greatt woghe, 

fTrom dede to lyfe thou rasyd lazare • 
Sen stalkyd stylly bi the see swoghe ; 

both domb and defe thou salfyd from sare. 719 

Thou passys cesar bi dede, 

or sir h erode oure kyng. 
Secmidus Miles, let deme hym fast 1 to dede, 

and let 1 for no kyn thyng. 723 


TowneUy Plays. XX. The Conspiracy. 


Primus Miles. Sen he has forfett agans oure lawe, 

let vs deme hym in this stede. 
Pilatns. I wiH not 1 assent 1 vnto youre saw ; * 





I can ordan well better red. 
Malcus. Better red 1 yei dwiH ! how so 1 

then were oure sorow lastand ay ; 
And he thus furth shuld go, 

he wold dystroy oure lay. 

wold ye all assent to me, 

this bargan shuld be strykyn anone ; 
By nyghtertayH dede shuld he be, 

arid tiH oure awnter stand ilkon. 
Pilatus. Peasse, harlotk's, the dwiH you spede ! 

wold ye thus preualy morder a man % 
Malcus. when euery man has red his red, 

let 1 se who better say can. 

Pilatas. To cayphas hull loke fast* ye wyrk, 

And thider right 1 ye shaH hym lede ; 
he has the rewH of holy kyrk, 

lett 1 hym deme hym whyk or dede ; 
ffor he has wroght agans oure law, 

ffor-thi most 1 skyH can he ther on. 
Secxmdiis Miles. Sir, we assent 1 vnto youre saw ; 

Com furth, bewshere, and lett vs gone. 
Malcus. Step furth, in the wenyande ! 

wenys thou ay to stand styH ? 
Nay, luskand loseH, lawes of the land 

ShaH fayH bot we haue oure wiH ; 
Out 1 of my hand^s shaH thou not 1 pas 

ffor aH the craft 1 thou can ; 
TiH thou com to szV cayphas, 

Saue the shaH no man. Explicit Capcio Ihesu. 755 


[To Jesus.] 


The knights 
clamour for 
His death. 

Pilate knows 
a better 

Malchus is 

Pilate is 


and will 
send Him to 
who has the 
rule of Holy 

brings Jesus 
to Cayphas 
with much 


Townelcy Plays. XXI. The Buffeting. 

[Pol. 73, b.] 

The first 
Jesus to 
Anna and Sir 
with threats. 

The second 
Him as a 
deceiver of 
the people. 

Primus Tortor. 
Sccundus Tortor. 

They join in 

He shall rue 
being called 
a saint. 
Better had 
he held His 
clatter ! 


Incipft Coliphizacw. 

[Dramatis Personae. 


[50 nine-line stanzas, aaaab cccb. The aaaa lines have central 
rymes, marked by bars /.] 

Primus tortor. (1) 

Do Io furtn, Io ! / and trott 1 on a pase ! 
To anna wilt we go / and sir cayphas ; 
witt 1 thou well of thaym two / gettys thou no 
Bott euerlastyng wo / for trespas thou has 
so mekiH. 5 

Thi mys is more 

then euer gett?/s thou grace fore ; 
Thou has beyn l ay- whore 

ffuH fals and fuH fekyH. 9 

Secxmdus tortor. It 1 is wonder to dre / thus to be gaugyng j 
we haue had for the / mekiH hart 1 stangyng ; 
Eof at last shall we be / out 1 of hart 1 langyng, 
Be thou haue had two 2 or three / hetys worth a hangyng ; 
No wonder ! 1 4 

Sich wyles can thou make, 
gar the people farsake 
Oure lawes, and thyne take ; 

thus art 1 thou broght 1 in blonder. 18 

Pri??zus tortor. Thou can not 1 say agaynt / If thou be trew ; 
Som men hold^/s the sant 1 / and that shaH thou rew"; 
flare wordy s can thou paynt 1 / and lege lawes new. 
SecundvLS tortor. Now be ye ataynt 1 / for we witi persew 

On this mater. 23 

Many wov&ys has thou saide 
Of which we ar not 1 well payde ; 
As good that 1 thou had 

halden still thi clater. 27 

1 " beyn " ovcrlined later. 2 MS. ij. 

Towneley Plays. XXI. The Buffeting. 229 

mimus tortor. It 1 is better syti still / then rise vp and faH ; "Better sit 

Thou has long had thi wiH / and made many brail ; rise up and 

At 1 the last 1 wold thou spiH / and for-do vs alt, 

If we dyd neuer ytt. / . 

Secxmdus tortor. I trow not, he shall They are 

T " . . 09 ready to 

lndure lV ; &* accuse Him 

— . •• it! -u themselves. 

ftor if other men ruse hym, 

we shall accuse hym ; 

his self shall not excuse hym ; 

To you I insure it 1 , 36 


with no legeance. / They owe 

„ Til 1 Jesus a 

jprimus tortor. iayn wold he wynk, grudge for 

Els falys his covntenance ; / I say as I thynk. they have 

Secundus tortor. he has done vs greuance / therfor shall j^g wit h 

he drynk ; 

haue he mekiH myschaunsce / that 1 has gart vs swynke [Foi. 74, a. 

T 11 A\ Sig.M.2.] 

In walkyng, 41 

That 1 vnneth may I more. 
pvimus tortor. Peas, man, we ar thore ! 
I shall walk in before, 

And tell of his talkyng. -\Tliey come to Cayplias 

(6) and Anna.~\ 

haiU, syrs, as ye sytt / so worthi in wonys ! They greet 

whi spyrd ye not 1 yit / how we haue fame this onys ? AnS, and" 

Secxmdus tortor. Sir, we wold fayn witfr / aH wery ar oure tiie?rjour-° 

bonys ; ney ' 

we haue had a fytt / right 1 yH for the nonys, 

So tarid?. 50 

Cayphas. Say, were ye oght 1 adred 1 
were ye oght 1 wrang led 1 
Or in any strate sted % 

Syrs, who was myscaryd 1 54 

Anna. Say, were ye oght in dowte / for fawte of light 1 
As ye wached ther owte 1 j 

Primus tortoT. sir, as I am true knyghtf, 

Of my dame sen I sowked / had I neuer sich a nyght 1 ; 
Myn 1 een were not 1 lowked / to-geder right 1 


Tovmcley Plays. XXI. The Buffeting. 

Their trouble 
is well spent 
since they 
have brought 
in this 

Sen morowe ; 
Bot 1 yit 1 I thynk it 1 weH sett, 
Sen we with this tratoure met 1 ; 
Sir, this is he that 1 forfett 

And done so mekiH sorow. 



He teaches a Cayphas. Can ye hym oght apeche 'I / had he any ferys 1 

Secimdus tortor. he has bene for to preche / fuH many 

long yeris ; 
And the people he teche / a new law. 
primus tortor. syrs, heris ! 

As far as his witt 1 reche / many oone he lerys ;, 

when we toke hym, 68 

we faunde hym in a yerde ; 
Bofr when I drew out 1 my swerde, 
his dyscypyls wex ferde, 

And soyn thay forsoke hym. 72 

He said He 
could de- 
stroy the 
temple and 
build a new 
one on the 
third day. 
He "lies for 
the whet- 
stone" and 
must be 
given the 

Secundus tortor. Sir, I hard hym say he cowthe dystroew / 

oure tempyH so gay, 

and sithen held a new / on the thrid day. 

Cayphas. how myght 1 that 1 be trew ? / it toke more aray ; 

The masons I knewe / that 1 hewed it 1 , I say, 

so wyse ; 77 

That 1 hewed ilka stone. 
jprimus tortor. A, good sir, lett hym oone ; 
he lyes for the quetstone, 

I gyf hym the pryce. 81 

Secundus tortor. The halt 1 rynes, the blynd sees / thrugh 

his fals wyles ; 1 
Thus he gettis many fees / of thym) he begyles. 
IFoi. 74, b.] Primus tortor., he rases men that 1 dees / thay seke hym 
be myles ; 
And euer thrugh his soceres / oure sabate day defyles 

1 MS. lyes. 

Towneley Plays. XXL The Buffeting. 231 / 

Euermore, sir. 86 He works 

Secxmdus tortov. This is his vse and his custom, feSmddoea 

To heytt the defe and the dom), Sabbath. the 

where so euer he com ; 

I teH you before, sir. 90 


Primus tortov. Men caH hym / a prophete and godis He is called 

p -I God's Son, 

son oi heuen; sets not a 

he wold fayn downe bryng / oure lawes bi his steuen. c£sar nS and 

Secmidus tortov. yit 1 is ther anothere thyng / that 1 I hard whoelcused 

hym neuen, g£* 

he settys not a fie wyng / bi sir cesar f uH euen ; 

he says thus ; 95 

Sir, this same is he 
that excusyd with his sotelte 
A woman in avowtre ; 

ffuH weH may ye trust vs. 99 

Primus tortov. Sir lazare can he rase / that 1 men may persaue, He raised 
when he had lyne fower * dayes / ded in his grauu ; uses such" 1 

AH men hym prase / both master and knaue, Sfmen^*' 

Such wychcraft 1 he mase. / praise Him ' 

/Secundus tortov. If he abowte waue 

Any langere, 104 

his warkys may we ban ; 
ffor he has turned many man 
Sen the tyme he began, 

And done vs great 1 hangere. 108 

(13) V 

Pvimus tortov. he wiH not leyfe yit / thof he be culpabyH ; 

Men caH hym a prophete / a lord fuH renabyH. 

Sir cayphas, bi my wytt / he shuld be dampnabiU, 

Eot 1 wold ye two, as ye sytt / make it 1 ferine and stabyH T he first 

Tn o-Prl Pr • 11 Q Torturer 

io geaei , 11,5 oallson 

ffor ye two, as I traw, Sf A h n a na to 

May defende arl oure law ; f^ nd the . 

That 1 mayde vs to you draw, 

And bryng this loseli heder. 117 

1 MS. iiij. 


Towneley Plays. XXI. The Buffeting. 

If Jesus 
reign any 
more their 
laws are 

Secundus tortor. Sir, I can teH you before / as myght I 

be maryd, 
If he reyne any more / oure lawes ar my scary d. 
Pri??zus tortor. Sir, opposed if he wore / he shuld be 

fon waryd; 
That* is weH seyn thore / where he has long tarid 

And walkyd. 122 

he is sowre lottyn : 
Ther is somwhat 1 forgottyn ; 
I shaH thryng out. the rottyn, 

Be we haue ari talkyd. 126 


[Pol. 75, a. 
Sig. M. 3.] 

Cayphas. Now fare myght 1 you faH / for youre talkyng ! 
ffor, CQitijs, I my self shaH / make examynyng. [To Jesus.'] 
harstow, harlott 1 , of aH '? / of care may thou syng ! 
How durst thou the carl / aythere emperoure or kyngl 

I do fy the! 131 

what the dwiH doyst 1 thou here % 
Thi dedys wiH do the dere ; 
Com nar and rowne in myn eeyr, 

Or I shaH ascry the. 135 

He is 

furious that 
Jesus does 
not answer. 


Illa-hayH was thou borne ! / harke ! says he oghft agane % 
Thou shaH onys or to-morne / to speke be furl fayne. 
This is a great 1 skorne / and a fals trail e ; 
Now wols-hede and out-home / on the be tane ! 

Vilefature! 140 

Oone worde myght thou speke ethe, 
yitt myght 1 it 1 do the som letht, 
Et 1 omftis qui tacet 1 

hie consentire videtur. 144 

Speke on oone word / right 1 in the dwyllys name ! 
where was thi syre at 1 bord / when he met 1 with thi dame 3 
what 1 , nawder bowted ne spurd / and a lord of name ! 
Speke on in a torde / the dwiH gif the shame, 

Towneley Plays. XXI. The Buffeting. 



Sir sybre ! 
Perde, if thou were a kyng, 
yit 1 myght 1 thou be ridyng ; 
ffy on the, fundlyng ! 

Thou lyhjs bot 1 bi brybre. 

Lad, I am a prelate / a lord in degre, 
Syttys in myn) astate / as thou may se. 
knyght?/s on me to wate / in dyuerse degre ; 
I myght 1 thole the abate / and knele on thi kne 

In my present ; 
As euer syng I mes, 
whoso kepis the lawe, I gess, 
he gettis more by purches 

Then bi his fre rent. 


The dwiH: gif the shame / that* euer I knew the ! 
Nather blynde ne lame / wiH none persew the ; 
Therfor I shall the name / that 1 euer shali rew the, 
kyng copyn in oure game / thus shall I indew the, 

ffor a fatur. 
Say, dar thou not 1 speke for ferde? 
I shrew hym the lerd, 
weme ! the d willy s durt 1 in thi berd, 

vyle fals tratur ! - 

1 4 J He abuses 
Jesus as a 


and reminds 
Him of his 
own power. 
Who has the 
law in Jus 
keeping lias 
a "better 
than rent" 
(wins more 
by his pro- 
fession than 
by his 





Jesus is 
King Coppin 

Though thi lyppis be stokyn / yit 1 myght 1 thou say, mom ; He 
Great 1 wordzs has thou spokyn / then was thou not dom. 
Be it 1 hole worde or brokyn / com, owt 1 with som, 
Els on the I shall be wrokyn / or thi ded com 

AH outt. 
Aythere has thou no wytt, 
Or els ar thyn) eres dytt 1 ; 
why bot 1 herd thou not yit 1 1 

So, I cry and I showte. 180 


will have 
on Him for 
His silence. 

[Fol. 75, b.] 


Anna. A, s^'r, be not 1 yH payde / though he not answere ; 
he is inwardly flayde / not 1 right 1 in his gere. 


Toioneley Plays. XXI. The Buffeting. 

Anna begs 
Cayphas to 
be less 

Cayphas is 
bursting to 
give Jesus a 

Cayphas. No, bot 1 the wordw he has saide / doth my 

hart 1 great 1 dere. 
Anna. Sir, yit 1 may ye be dayde. / 
Cayphas. nay, vvhils I lif nere. 

Anna. Sir, amese you. 185 

Capyhas. Now fowli myght 1 hym befall ! 
Anna. Sir, ye ar vexed at aft, 
And pe?*auentur he shall 

here after pleas you ; 189 

we may bi oure law / examyn) hym fyrst. 
Cayphas. Bot 1 I gif hym a blaw / my hart will brist. 
Anna. Abyde to ye his purpose knaw. / 

If he may 

not strike off 
His head, he 
will not eat 
till Jesus is 
in the 


Cayphas he 
is a man of 
holy church, 

nay, bot I shall out thrist 


ye will not, I tryst, 




Both his een on a raw 


Be so vengeabyH ; 
Bot 1 let me oppose hym. 
Cayphas. I pray you, and sloes hym. 
Anna. Sir, we may not 1 lose hym 

Bot 1 we were dampnabiH. 

_ (23) 
Cayphas. he has adyld his ded / a kyng he hym calde ; 
war ! let me gyrd of his hede ! / 

Anna. I hope not 1 ye wold ; 1 

Bot 1 sir do my red / youre worship to hald?. 
Cayphas. Shatt I neuer ete bred / to that 1 he be staid 

In the stokys. 203 

Anna. Sir, speke soft and styH, 
let vs do as the law wiH. 
Cayphas. Nay, I myself shall hym kyH, 

And murder with knokys. 207 

Anna. Sir, thynk ye that 1 ye ar / a man of holy kyrk, 
ye shuld be oure techer > 2 / mekenes to wyrk. 
Cayphas. yei, bot 1 aH is out of har / and that shall he yrk. 
Anna. AH soft 1 may men go far / oure lawes ar not 1 myrk, 

1 The ryme needs ' wald. ' 

2 The ryme needs ' techar. ' 

Towneley Plays. \ XXI. The Buffeting. 235 

I weyn ; 212 and they 

must pro- 
le oure WOldys ar bustllS, ceed by law. 

Et hoc nos volunius 

Quod de lure possumus : 

ye wote what I meyn ; 216 

It 1 is best that 1 we trete hym / with farenes. 
Cayphas. We, nay ! 

Anna. And so myghfr we gett hym / som word for to say, [Foi. 76, a. 
Cayphas. war ! let me bett H hym ! / 
Anna. syr, do away ! 

ft'or if ye thus thrett hym / he spekys not this day. 

Bot 1 herys ; 221 He will ex- 

, , tit amine Jesus 

wold ye sesse and abyde, himself. 

I shuld take hym on syde 
And inquere of his pryde, 

how he oure folke lerys. 225 

Cayphas. he has reuyd ouer lang / with his fals lyys, The law will 

And done mekyrl wrang / sir cesar he defyes ; Hiintogo 

Therfor shaH I hym hang / or I vp ryse. dThTs^' 

Anna. Sir, the law will not he gang / on nokyn wyse he^sta 1 !? 

Vndemyd; 230 lished - 

Bott fyrsfr wold I here 
what 1 he wold answere ; 
Bofr he dyd any dere 

why shuld he be flemyd 1 234 

And therfor examynyng / ffyrst wiH I make,, 
Sen that he callys hym a kyng. / 

Cayphas. bof he that* forsake Cayphas 

I shaH gyf hym a wryng / that his nek shaH crak. threatens. 

Anna. Syr, ye may not hym dyng / no word yit he 

That I wyst 1 . 239 

hark, felow, com nar ! [To Jesus.] 

wyH thou neuer be war 1 
I haue merueH thou dar 

Thus do thyn awne lyst. 243 


Townclcy Plays. XXI. The Buffeting. 

Anna asks 
Jesus if He 
is God's Son, 
and is 

says they 
need no 


[Pol. 76, b.] 

Let him put 
Jesus to 
death at 

Anna says 
they have no 
power to 

Bot 1 I shaH do as the law wyH / if the people ruse the ; 
Say, dyd thou oght this yH 1 / can thou oght excuse the 1 
why standi thou so styH / when men thus accuse the 1 
ffor to hyng on a hyH / hark how thay ruse the 

To dam. 248 

Say, art 1 thou godi/s son of heuen, 
As thou art 1 wonte for to neuen 1 
IIiqsus. So thou says by thy steuen ; 

And right 1 so lam; 252 

ffor after this shall thou se / when that [I] do com downe 
In brightnes on he / in clowdys from abone,. 
Cayphas. A, iH myghf the feete be / that 1 broght 1 the to 

towne ! 
Thou art 1 worthy to de ! / say, thefe, where is tin crowne 1 

Anna. Abyde, sir, 257 

let vs lawfully redres, 
Cayphas. we nede no wytnes, 
hys self says expres ; 

whi shuld I not 1 chyde, sirl 261 

Anna, was ther neuer man so wyk / bott he myght 1 amende, 
when it com to the pryk / right 1 as youre self kend. 
Cayphas. Nay, sir, bot 1 I shaH hym styk / euen with 

myn awne hend; 
ffor if he reue and be whyk / we ar at 1 an end, 

AH sam ! 266 

Therfor. whils I am in this brethe, 
let 1 me put hym to deth. 
Anna. Sed nobis non licet 1 

Interficere quemquam. 270 

Sir, ye wote better then I / we shuld slo no man. 
Cayphas. his dedys I defy / his warkv/s may we ban, 
Therfor shaH he by. / 

Anna. . nay, on oder wyse than, 

And do it 1 lawfully. / 
Cayphas. as how ? 

Anna. tel you I can. 


Toicncley Plays. XXI. The Buffeting. 

Caiphas. let se. 275 

Anna. Sir take tent to my sawes ; 
Men of temporal! lawes 
Tliay may deme sicli cause. 

And so may not 1 we. 279 

Cayplias. My hart is full cold / nerehand that 1 1 swelt ; 
ffor talys that ar told / I bolne at my belt, 
Vnethes may it 1 hold / my body, an ye it felt 1 ; 
yit 1 wold I gif of my gold / yond tratoure to pelf 

ffor euer. 284 

Anna. Good sir, do as ye hetf me. 
Caiphas. whi shall he oner-sett 1 me? 
Sir anna, if ye lett me 

ye do not 1 youre deuer. 288 

Anna. Sir, ye ar a prelate. / 
Cayplias. so may I weH seme, 

My self if I say if. / 
Anna. be not to breme ; 

Sich men of astate / shuld no men deme, 
bot 1 send them to pilate / the temporal! law to yeme 

has he ; 293 

he may best 1 threte hym, 
And aH to rehete hym ; 
It 1 is shame you to bete hym 

Therfor, sir, let 1 be. 297 

Cayplias. fry on hym and war ! / I am oute of my gate ; 
say why stand^/s he so far > . / 
Anna. sir, he cam bot 1 late. 

Cayplms. No, bot 1 I hane knyghta/s that 1 dar / rap hym 

on the pate. 
Anna, ye ar bot 1 to skar / good sir abate, 

And here ; 302 

what 1 nedys you to chyte 1 
what nedys you to fly te 1 
If ye yond man smyte, 

ye ar irregulere. 306 


Men of tem- 
poral laws 
must judge 
such a 

says if Anna 
hinders him 
he is not 
doing his 

Anna pro- 
poses to 
send Jesus 
to Pilate. 

wants to set 
his knights 
on Jesus ; 
Anna re- 


Towneley Plays. XXI. The Buffeting. 

( « 


laments he 
was ever 
made a 
clerk, that 

[Fol. 77, a.] 

he may not 
beat Jesus 

Anna con- 
sents to the 

They assure 
they will not 
spare Him. 

Cayphas. lie that 1 fyrst made me clerk / and taght 1 me 

my lare, 
On bookys for to barke / the dwiH gyf hym care ! 
Anna. A, good sir, hark ! / sicli wordys myght ye spare. 
Cayphas. Els myght 1 I hane made vp wark / of yond? 
harlot and mare, 

perde! 311 

Bot ceitys, or he hens yode, 
If wold do me som good 
To se knyghtys knbk his hoode 

with knokys two or thre. 315 

ffor sen he has trespast / and broken oure law, 
let 1 vs make hym agast / and set hym in awe. 
Anna, sir, as ye haue hast 1 / it* shalbe, I traw. 
Com and make redy fast 1 / ye knyghtys on a raw, 

youre arament 1 ; 320 

And that kyng to you take, 
And with knokys make hym wake. 
Cayphas. yei, syrs, and for my sake 

Gyf hym good payment 1 . 324 

ffor if I myght 1 go with you / as I wold that I myght, 
I shuld? make myn avowe / that 1 ons or mydnyghf 
I shuld make his heede sow / wher that 1 I hyt right. 
Primus tortov. Sir, drede you not now / of this cursed 
To day, 329 

ffor we shaH so rok hym, 
and with huEettys knok hym. 
Cayphas. And I red that ye lok hym, 

That 1 he ryn not 1 away, 333 

ffor I red not we mete / if that 1 lad skap. 
Socimdus tortor. Sir, on vs be it / bot we clowt 1 weH his 

Cayphas. wold ye do as ye heytt / it 4 were a fayr hap. 
primus tortov. Sir, see ye and sytt 1 / how that we hym 

Towneley Plays. XXI. The Buffeting. 239 

Ooixeffeste: 338 They ask 

him to bless 

Bot or we go to tins thyng, them with 

• 3_i n > s rm ff- 

Sayn vs, lord, with thy ryng. Cayphas 

Cayphas. Now he shall haue my blyssyng hffSSng 

That H knok?/s hym the best. 342 who buffets 


Secundus tortov. Go we now to oure noyte / with this 

fond foyH. 
primus tortov. we shall teche hym, I wote / a new play The first 

01 yoyri, sends Fro- 

And hold hym fuH hote / frawrord, a stoyH stool. °Fro- 

, i ward and 

Go ietcn VS ! the other 

ffroward. "We, dote ! / now els were it doyH 

And vnneth ; 347 

ffor the wo that he shall dre 

let hym knele on his kne. 

/Secundus tortov. And so shall he for me ; 

Go fetche vs a light buffit. 351 


ffroward. why must he sytt H soft / with a mekitt mys- but are told 

, they can 

Channce, buffet Jesus 

That 1 has tenyd vs thus oft 1 / ' more easily ' 

pvinms tortov. sir, we do it for a skawnce ; 

If he stode vp on loft / we must hop and dawnse 

As cokys in a croft 1 . / [F°i. 7", b.] 

ffroward). Now a veniance 

Com on hym ! 356 

Good skiH can ye shew, if He be 

As feH I the dew ; 
haue this, bere if, shrew ! 

ffor soyn shall we fon hym. 360 


Secundus tortov. Com, sir, and syt downe / must 1 ye They bid 

i t n Jesus sit. 

be prayde I 
lyke a lord of renowne / youre sete is arayde. 
primus tortov. we shall preue on his crowne / the word ys 

he has sayde. 
SecmidviS tortov. Ther is none in this towne / I trow, be 

iH payde 

240 Towneley Plays. XXL The Buffeting. 

All His kin Of his sorow, 3G5 

rescue Him. Bot the fader that 1 hym gate. 

primus tortov. Now, for oght 1 that 1 1 wate, 

Ail his kyn commys to late 

his body to borow. 3G9 

They send Secxmdus tortov. I wold we were onwarde. / 
a veil to primus tortov. bot 1 his een must be hyd. 

with. Secnndus tortov. yei, bot 1 thay be well spard / we lost 1 

that 1 we dyd ; 
Step furth thou, froward ! / 
ffroivar&. what is now betyd % 

primus tortov. Thou art 1 euer away ward. / 
ffro'warck. haue ye none to byd 

Bot me 1 374 

I may syng ylla-hayH. 
/SecuncZus tortov. Thou must get vs a vayH. 
ffrowar&. ye ar euer in oone tayH. 

primus tortov. Now iH myght 1 thou the ! 378 


weH had thou thi name / for thou was euer curst. 
Froward ffroivardl. Sir, I myght 1 say the same / to you if I durst? : 

quarrels •■. _ . . 

with them, yit 1 my hyer may 1 clame / no penny 1 purst H ; 
I haue had mekyH shame / hunger and thurst, 1 

In youre seruyce. 383 

pri??zus tortov. Not oone word so bold ! 
ffroward 1 . why, it is trew that 1 1 told ! 
ffayn preue it 1 1 wold. 

Sec\mdus tortor. Thou shalbe cald to peruyce. 387 

But brings 
the veil. 

ffroward. here a vayH haue I fon / I trow it will last. 
pri??zus tortov. Bryng it hycler, good son / that 1 is it 1 

that 1 I ast. 
ffroward. how shuid* it be bon 1 J 

SQCxmdxis tortor. abowte his headc cast, 

primus tortov. yei, and when it is weH won / knyt 1 a 
knot 1 fast 

. » MS. thrust. 

Towneley Plays. XXI. The Buffeting. 241 

I red. 392 Theyblind- 

. „ ' fold Jesus. 

ffroward. Is if weyti i 
Secundus tortor. yei, knaue. 

jjrowardt. what 1 , weyn ye that I rafe 1 
Cryst curs myght he haue 

That 1 last bond his head ! 396 

primus tortor. Now sen he is blynfold* / I faH to begyn, The tor - 
And thus was I counseld / the mastry to wyn. [Foi. 78, a.] 

Secundus tortor. Nay, wrang has thou told / thus shuld? turers vie 

. , . , with each 

th0U COm in ! other in 

ffroward. I stode and beheld* / thou towchid* not 1 the m^ g 
Bot fowH. 401 

pvhnus tortoi. how wiH thou I do 1 
Secundus tortor. On this manere, lo ! 
ffroward. yei, that 1 was weH gone to, 

Thar start 1 vp a cowH. 405 

pri??zus tortor. Thus shall we hym refe / aH his fonde 

Secundus tortor. Ther is noght 1 in thi nefe / or els thi 

hart 1 falys. 
ffroward. I can my hand vphefe / and knop out 1 the 

^>ri??zus tortor. God?/*' forbot 1 ye lefe / bot set in youre nalys 
On raw. 410 

Sit vp and prophecy. and bid Him 

ffroward Bot 1 make vs no ly. ^S te 

Secundus tortor. who smote the last 1 % Him last - 

primus tortor. was if 1 1 

ffroward. he wote nof, I traw. 414 

jprimus tortor. ffast to sir cayphas /. go we togeder. 1 
Secundus tortor. Byse vp with iH grace / so com thou They bring 

i i Him again 

n hyder. to sir 

ffroward. If semys by his pase / he groches to go thyder. Caiaphas - 
primus tortor. we haue gyf en hym a glase / ye may 

1 The ryme needs ' togyder. ' 


Toivneley Plays. XXI. The Buffeting. 

The tor- 
turers boast 
that they 
have almost 
killed Jesus. 

bids them 
take Jesus 
to Pilate, 

yeif fears lest 
Pilate may 
be bribed to 
acquit Him. 

[Fol. 78, b.] 

After up- 
Anna he 
starts off to 
follow them. 

To kepe. 419 

Seeandus tortor. Sir, for his great 1 boost, 
with knok?/s he is indoost. 
ffrowardl. In fayth, sir, we had almost 

knokyd 1 hym on slepe. 423 

Gayphas. Now sen he is well bett / weynd on youre gate, 
And teH: ye the forfett 1 / vnto air pylate ; 
ffor he is a luge sett 1 / emaiig men of state, 
And looke that 1 ye not? let. / 
primus tortor. Com furth, old crate, 

Be lyfe ! 428 

we shaH lede the a trotft. 
ijus tortov. lyft* thy feete may thou not. 
ffroiuard 1 . Then nedys me do notfr 

Bot 1 com after and dryfe. 432 

Cayphas. Alas, now take I hede ! / 

Anna. why mowrne ye so 1 

Cayphas. ffor I am euer in drede / wandreth, and wo, 
lestt pylate for mede / let 1 ihesus go ; 
Bot* had I slayn hym indede / with thise handys two, 

At onys, 437 

AH had bene qwytt than ; 
Bot 1 gyitys marres many man. 
Bot 1 he deme the sothe than, 

The dwiH haue his bonys ! 441 

Sir anna, aH I wyte you this blame / for had ye not 1 beyn, 
I had mayde hym furl tame / yei, stykyd hym, I weyn, 
To the hart 1 f uH wan 2 / with this dagger so keyn. 
Anna. Sir, you must shame / sich wordys for to meyn 

Emang men. 446 

Cayphas. I wiH not dwerl in this stede, 
Bot 1 spy how thay hym lede, 
And persew on his dede. 

ffare werl ! 


Explicit, Coliph imcio. 

1 MS. 'knokyp.' 
2 Assonant to 'fame, shame.' 

Towneley Plays. XXII. The Scourging. 


Primus Turtor. 
Sccundus Torlor. 
Tcrcius Tortor. 


Incipit Fflagellacio. 

[Dramatis Personae. 

Primus Consultus. 

Secondus Consultus. 


Johannes Apostolus. 


Maria Magdalene. 
Maria Jaeobi. 
Symon. ] 

Pilate rages, 
himself full 
of subtlety 
and guile, 
and there- 
fore called 
' ' mali 

[49 stanzas ; 4 of 13 lines, ab ab ab ab c, dddc ; 1 of 12 lines, aab 
ccb, bb dd bb ; 24 of 9 lines, aaaab cccb ; 13 of 8 lines, aab aab 
bb ; 2 of 6 lines, aaaa bb ; 4 of 4 lines, aaaa 1 ; 1 of 4 Zmes, aa bb.] 

Pilatus. (1) 

Peasse at 1 my bydyng, ye wyghtys in wold ! 
Looke none be so hardy to speke a word bot 1 1, 
Or by mahowne most 1 myghty, maker on mold, 
With this brande that I bere ye shaH bytterly 
aby. -1 

Say, wote ye not 1 that I am pylate, perles to behold ? 

Most 1 doughty in dedys of dukys of the Inry; 
In bradyng of batels I am the most 1 bold', 
Therfor my name to you wiri I dyscry, 

Xo mys. ' 9 

I am furl of sotelty, 
ffalshed, gyll, and trechery ; 
Therfor am I namyd by clergy 

As mali actoris. 13 

ffor like as on both sydys the Iren the hamer makith playn, [Foi. 79, a.] 

So do I, that 1 the law has here in my kepyng ; 
The right 1 side to socoure, cevtys, I am furl bayn, 

If I may get therby a vantege or wynyng ; 1 7 

Then ,to the fals parte I turne me agayn, 

ffor I se more YayH wiH to me be risyng ; 
Thus euery man to drede me shalbe furl fayn, 
And aH faynt of thare fayth to me be obeyng, 
1 All the aaaa lines have central rymes, markt here by bars. 

In judging 
he inclines 
first to the 
right, then 
to the 
wrong, for 
the sake of 

244 Towneley Plays. XXII. The Scourging. 

Truly. 22 

AH fals endytars, 
Quesfr-gangars, and Iurars, 
And thise oufr-rydars 

Ar welcom to me. 26 

He means to Bot 1 this prophete, that 1 has prechyd and puplyshed so playn 

pretend to ^ . J . . . t . ._ . 

be Christ's Gristen law, crist 1 thay can hym m oure cuntre ; 

finally to Bot 1 oure prynces fuH prowdly this nyght 1 haue hym tayn, 
ftuH tytt to be dampned he shall be hurlyd byfore me ; 
I shaft fownde to be his lreynd vtward, in certayn, 

And shew hym fare cowntenance and word?/s of vanyte ; 
Bot 1 or this day at 1 nyght 1 on crosse shall he be slayn, 
Thus agans hym in my hart 1 1 bere great 1 enmyte 

ffuH sore. 35 

ye men that 1 vse bak-bytyng?/s, 
and rasars of slanderyngys, 
ye ar my dere darlyng?/s, 

And mahowns for euermore. 39 

Nothing ffor no thyng in this warld dos me more greie 
more than to Then for to here of crist 1 and of his new lawes ; 
ciuist and To trow that he is godv/s son my hart 1 wold aH to-clefe, 

Though he be neuer so trew both in dedys and in sawes. 
Therfor shaH he suffre mekiH myschefe, . 

And aH the dyscypyls that vnto hym drawee ; 
ffor ouer aH solace to me it 1 is most 1 lefe, 

The shedyng of cristen bloode, and that 1 aH I«,ry knawes, 
I say you. 48 

My knyghta/s fuH swythe 
Thare strengthes wiH thay kyth, 
And bryng hym be-lyfe ; 

lo, where thay com now ! 52 


The first tor- pvbnus tortor. I haue ron that 1 I swett / from sir herode 

turer arrives , 

bringing oure kyng 

[Foi. 79, b.] With this man that 1 wiH not 1 lett / oure lawes to downe 

Jesus, as kryng ', 

he has done so mych forfett 1 / of care may he syng ; 
Thrugh dom of air pylate he gettys / an yH endyng 

Tu'ivnclcy Plays. XXII. The Scourging. 

And sore ; 57 

The great 1 waxkys he has wroghft 
Sharl serae hym of noghtt, 
And bot 1 thay be dere boght 1 

lefe me no more. 61 

Bot 1 make rowme in this rese / I byd yon, belyfe, 

And of yonre noys that 1 ye. sesse / both man and wyfe ; 
To sir pylate on dese / this man wiH we dryfe, 
his dede for to dres / and refe hym his lyfe 

This day ; 66 

Do draw hym forward ! 
whi stand ye so bakward 1 
Com on, sir, hyderward, 

As fast 1 as ye may ! • 70 

Secimdus tortor. Do pnH hym a-rase / whyls we be gangyng ; 

I shaft spytt 1 in his face / though it be fare shynyng ; 
Of vs thre gettys thon no grace / thi dedys ar so noyng, 
Bofr more sorow thou hase / oure myrth is incresyng, 
STo lak. 75 

ffelows, aft in hast 1 , 
with this band that 1 wiH last 1 , 
Let 1 vs bynde fast 

Both his band?/s on his bak. 79 

Teicius tortov. I shaft lede the a dawnce/ Vnto sir pilate haft; 

Thou betyd an yft chawnce / to com emangys vs aft. 
Sir pilate, with yonre cheftance / to you we cry and call 
That 1 ye make som ordynance / with this brodeft thrall, 

This man that 1 we led* 
On crosse ye put 1 to ded. 
Pilahis. what ! with outten any red % 
That 1 is not 1 my wyft ; 

Bot 1 ye, wysest 1 of law / to me ye be tendand : 

This man withoutten awe / which ye led in a band. 

Nather in dede ne in saw / can I fynd with no wrang, 

wherfor ye shuld hym draw / or bere falsly on hand 



The great 
works Jesus 
lias done 
shall serve 

He bin's the 
people make 
room, and 
Jesus on. 

The second 
Jesus, and 
binds His 
hands be- 
hind Him. 

The third 

calls on 
Pilate to 

Pilate pre- 
tends to take 
Jesus' part, 
and sum- 
mons his 


It will be a 
shame if 
Jesus be 

Towneley Plays. XXII. The Scourging. 

With i& 
ye say he turnes oure pepyrl, 
ye caH hym fals and fekyrl ; 
w-dvldys shame is on you mekyH 

This man if ye spyrl. 




[Fol. 80, a.]l 

could find 
no fault in 

Let Him go ! 


Of aii thise causes ilkon / which, ye put 1 on hym, 

Herode, truly as stone / coud fynd with nokyns gyn 
Nothyng herapon / that 1 pent 1 to any syn ; 

why shuld I then so soyn / to ded here deme hym 1 
Therfor 102 

This is my counseli, 
I wiH not 1 with hym merl ; 
let hym go where he wyH 

ffor now and euermore. 106 

The first 
urges that 
Jesus has 
called Him- 
self a king. 

Pilate re- 
minds Jesus 
of His 


Primus consultus. Sir, I say the oone thyng / w?'t^out any 
he callys his self a kyng / ther he none is ; 
Thus he wold downe bryng / oure lawes, I-wys, 
with his fals lesyng / and his quantys, 
This tyde. 
Pilatus. herk, felow, com nere ! 
Thou knowes I haue powere 
To excuse or to dampne here, 

In bayH to abyde. 115 



Jesus says Ihesus. Sich powere has thou noght 1 / to wyrk thi wirl 

the power is r . o / J 

given him by tllUS with me, 

the Trinity. 

Bott from my fader that is broght 1 / oone-fold god in 

pe?'sons thre. 
Pilatus. Certys, it is fallen weH in my thoght 1 / at this 

tyme, as weH wote ye, 
A thefe that 1 any felony has wroghft / to lett hym skap 

or go fre 

1 At the beginning of this page of the MS., is a large initial letter 
D, which, however, has no connection with the ensuing text. 

To'Wiiclcy Plays. XXII. The Scourging. 247 

Away: 120 Pilate offers 

to release 

Therfor ye lett hym pas. Jesus be- 

i ^x iiii cause of the 

primus tortor. -Nay, nay, hot 1 barabas ! Feast, but 

1 . . J the first tor- 

And UiesUS in this case turer asks 

To deth ye dam) this day. 124 bas. ' 


pilatas. Syrs, looke ye take good hede / his cloysse ye Pilate bids 

Spoyft hym fro, Jesus and 


ye gar his body blede / and bett hym blak and bloo. Him. 
Secvmdus tortor. This man, as myght I spede / that 1 has 
wroght vs this wo, 
how "Iudicare" comys in crede / shaH we teche, or we 

' AHsoyne. 129 

haue bynd to this pyllar. 
Tercius tortor. why stand?/s thou so far ] 
primus tortor. To bett 1 his body bar 

I haste, withoutten hoyne. 133 

Seeundus tortor. Now faH I the fyrst* / to flap on hys hyde. The tor- 

111X1 /it turers vie 

Tercius tortor. My hartt wold an to-bryst 1 / bot 1 I myght with each 

other in 

tytt hym glycle. cruelty. 

primus tortor. A swap fayn, if I durst 1 / wold I lene the 
this tyde. 
Secuudus tortor. war ! letf me rub on the rust 1 / that* 
the bloode downe glyde 
As swythe. 138 

Tercius tortor. haue att ! 
primus tortor. Take thou that ! 
Secuudus tortor. I shaH lene the a flap, 

My strengths for to kythe. 142 

Tercius tortor. Where on seruys thi prophecy / thou terl [Pol- so, b.] 
vs in this case, 
And arl thi warkys of greats mastry / thou shewed in They scoff 
dyuers place 1 ? 
primus tortor. Thyn apostels fuH radly / ar run from the 
a rase, 
Thou art 1 here in oure baly / withoutten any grace 


Towneley Plays. XXII. The Scourging. 

They would 
Jesus to 
death, but 
for Pilate. 

They call to 
mind His 
miracles — 
His turning 
water into 
wine and 
walking on 
the sea, 

His healing 
a leper and 
the Cen- 
turion's son, 

His giving 
sight to a 
blind man 
on the way 

Of skap. 147 

Sscmidxis tortor. Do, rug him. 
Tercius tortov. Do, dyng hym. 
pmnus tortoY. Nay, I myself shuld kyH hym 

Bot 1 for sir pilate. 151 

Syrs, at the ffeste of architreclyn / this prophete he was ; 
Ther turnyd he water into wyn / that day he had sich 
his apostels to hym can enclyn / and other that 1 ther was ; 
The see he past bofr few yeres syn / it 1 lete hym walk 
theron apase 
AtfwyH; . 156 

The elemeritys aft bydeyn, 
And wyndes that ar so keyn, 
The firmamente, as I weyn, 

Ar hym obeyng tyli. 160 

ijus. tortor. A lepir cam fuH fast / to this man that 1 
here standys, 
And prayed hym, in aH hast / of bayH to lowse his 
bandys ; 
his traueU was not 1 wast / though he cam from far landys ; 
This p?'ophete tyrl hym past 1 / and helyd hym with his 
ffuH blythe. 165 

The son of Century on, 
ffor whom his fader made greatt 1 mone. 
Of the palsy he helyd anone, 

Thay lowfyd hym oft 1 sythe. 169 

n/us tortoY. Sirs, as he cam from iherico / a blynde 
man satt by the way; 
To hym walkand with many mo / cryand to hym thus 
can he say, 
" Thou son of dauid, or thou go / of blyndnes hele thou 
me this day." 
Ther was he helyd of arl his wo / sich wonders can 
he wyrk aH way 

Townelcy Plays. XXII. The Scourging. 249 

At WyH ; 174 Jesus can 

he rasys men from detfi to lyfc, dead and 

And castys out* devyls from tliame oft sythe, devils, 

seke men cam to hym fuH ryfe, 

He helys thaym of aH yfi. 178 

primus tortoT. ffor aH thise dedys of great louyns / fower l But the first 

* torturer re- 

thyng?/s I haue fond certanly, members 

-i'ii* i i / • i i tllAt (1) Jric 

ffor which he is worthy to hyng : / oone is oure kyng that 1 claimed to 

, , , , be king, (2) 

he WOld be ; healed the 

_ .. n •!• i iti,, ,1-it sick on the 

Oure sabbot day in his wyrkyng / he lettys not to liele the Sabbath, [3) 

, . said He 

seke truly ; would de- 
he says onre temple he shaH downe bryng / and in thre 2 temple and 
daies byg it 1 in hy again in 
AH hole agane ; 183 He'caii/on 
Syr pilate, as ye sytt 1 , crucify 
looke wysely in youre wytt ; Jesus * 
Dam ihesu. or ye flytt 

On crosse to snffre his payne. 187 


pilatus. Thou man that suffurs aft this yH / "Why "WyH [, a. 
thou Vs rio mercy cry I 

Slake thy hart 1 and thi greatt 1 wyH / whyls on the we Pilate bids 

.. , Jesus work 

haue rnastry ; some 

Of thy greatt warkes shew vs som skyH ; / men caH the 
kyng, thou teH vs why ; 
wherfor the lues seke the to spyH / the cause I 
wold? knowe wytterly, 
perdee ; 192 

Say what 1 is thy name, 
Thou lett for no shame, 
Thay putt on the greatt blame, He himself 

f would re- 

Els myght [thou] skap for me. 196 lease Him. 


Secxmdns Conmltus. Syr pilate, prynce peerles / this is The first 

-. Counsellor 

my red, alleges 

That 1 he skap not harmeles / hot do hym to ded : to Peking™ 

he cals hym a kyng in euery place / thus wold he ouer led 
Oure people in his trace / and oure lawes downe tred 
1 MS. iiij. apparently a mistake for iij. 2 MS. iij. 


The knights 
and people 
are crying 
for His 

Towndey Plays. XXII. The Scourging. 

By skyli ; 201 

Syr, youre knyghtes of good lose, 
and the pepyH with oone voce, 
To hyng hym hy on a crosse 

Thay cry and caH you vntyH. 205 

Pilate asks 
why they 
will not 
obey their 

The third 
that Csesar 
is their kinc 

pilatus. Now certys, this is a wonder thyng / that H ye 
wold bryng to noght 
hym that is youre lege lordyng / In faith this was far 
soghf ; 
Bofr say, why make ye none obeyng / to hym that all has 
wroght 1 
Textiles TortoY. Sir, he is oure chefe lordyng /sir Cesar 
so worthyly wroght 
On mold. 210 

pylate, do after vs, 
And dam to deth ihesus 
Or to sir Cesar we trus, 

And make thy frenship cold. 214 

washes his 

and bids 
them take 
Jesus and 
crucify Him. 

2)ilat\is. Now that 1 I am sakles / of this bloode shall 
ye see ; 
Both my h&ndys in expres / weshen saH be ; 
This bloode bees dere boghfr I ges / that 1 ye spiH so frele. 
jprimus tortov. we pray it 1 faH endles / on vs and oure 
vfith wrake. 219 

pilatus. Now youre desyre fulfyll I shall ; 
Take hym emangs you aH, 
On crosse ye put that 1 thrall, 

his endyng ther to take. 223 

The tor- 
turers exult. 


primus tortoi. Com on ! tryp on thi tose / without any 
f enyng ; 
Thou has made many glose / with thy fals talkyng. 
Secundus toiioi. we ar worthy greatte lose / that thus 
has broght 1 a kyng 
{from sir pilate and othere fuse / thus into oure ryng, 

Toivneky Plays. XXII. The Scourging. 251 

wttAoutt any hoyne. 228 As Jesus 

ii i calls Him- 

Sirs, a kyng he hym cals, self a king, 

Therfor a crowne hym befals. have a 

Teicius tortor. I swere by aH myn elder sauls, 

I sliaii if ordan soyne. 232 

piimus tortov. Lo ! here a crowne of thorne / to perch [Foi. si, b.] 
his brane within, 
putt on his hede with skorne/ and gar thyrH the skyn. They crown 
Secxmdus tortov. hayrl kyng ! where was thou borne / sich thorns and 

, . „ „ mock Hiin. 

worship for to wyn l 
we knele aH the beforne / and the to grefe wirl we not 
That 1 be thou bold' ; 237 

ISTow by niahownes blood e ! 
Ther wirl no mete do me goode 
To he be hanged on a roode, 

And his bones be cold'. 241 

pnmus tortor. Syrs, we may be fayn / ffor I haue fon They find a 

tree for a 
a tree, cross, and 

I teH you in certan / it 1 is of greatt 1 bewtee, make ready. 

On the which he shaH sufTre payn / be feste witJi nales 
Ther shaH nothyng hym gayn / ther on to he dede be, 
I insure it ; 246 

Do, bryng hym hence. 

Secxmdus tortov. Take vp oure gere and defence. 
Tevcius tortov. I wold spende aH my spence 

To se hym ones skelpt. 250 

pvhnns tortov. This cros vp thou take / and make the The first tor- 

redy bowne ; Jesusbei 

Withoutt gruchyng thou rake / and bere if thrugh" the M^wni 

mourn for 

Mary, thi moder, I wote wiH make / great mowrnyng and 

But for thy fals dedys sake / shortly thou salbe slone, 1 

1 This line is added by a later hand. 


Toiuneley Plays. XXII. The Scourging. 

The people 
of Bethle- 
hem and 
shall wonder 
at Jesus to 


laments for 

He must tell 
Mary and 
the other 

[Fol. 82, a. 
Sig. n. 2.] 

He greets 
Mary and 
shows he 
has bad 

Mary asks 
her son be 

No nay ; 255 

The pepyH of bedlem, 
and gentyls of Ierwsalem, 
All the comoners of this reme, 

shall wonder on the this day. 259 

[John and the Holy Women appear on another part of the 

Ioharmes apostolus. Alas ! for my master moste of myght 1 , 
That 1 yester euen with lanterne bright* 

before Caiphas was broght ; 262 

Both peter and I sagh that sight 1 , 
And sithen we fled away fnH wight 1 , 

when lues so wonderly wroght; 265 

At 1 morne thay toke to red, And fals witnes furth soght, 1 
And demyd hym to be dede, That 1 to thaym trespaste 
noghtf, 1 267 

' (29) 
Alas ! for his modere and othere moo, 
My moder and hir syster also, 

Sat sam with syghyng sore ; 270 

Thay Wote nothyng of aH this wo, 
Therfor to tell thaym wiH I go, 

Sen I may mend no more. 273 

If he shuld dy thus tyte And thay vnwarned wore, 
I were Worthy to wyte ; I wiH go fast 1 therfor. 275 

(30) [Goes to the women.] 

God saue you, systers aH in fere ! 
Dere lady, if thi wiH were, 

I must 1 teH tythyng?/s playn. 278 

Maria. Welcom, Iohn, my cosyn dere ! 
how farys my son sen thou was here % 

That 1 wold I wyt fuH fayn. 281 

/Cannes. A, dere lady with youre leyff, The trouth shuld 

no man layn, 
Ne with god?/s wiH thaym grefe. 
if Maria. whi, Iohn, is my son slayn? 283 

1 These two lines, and the corresponding ones in the next five 
stanzas, are written as four in the MS. 

Toionelcy Plays. XXII. The Scourging. 


loh&rmes. Nay lady, I saicle not so, 
Bot 1 ye me myn he told vs two 

And tliaym that with vs wore, 286 

how he with pyne shulcl pas vs fro, 
And efte shuld com vs to, 

To amende oure syghyng sore ; 269 

It 1 may not 1 stand in stede To sheynd youre self therfore. 
Maria magdalene. Alas ! this day for drede ! Good Iohn, 
neven this no more ! 291 

Speke preualy I the pray, 
ffor I am ferde, if we hir flay, 

That 1 she wiH ryn and rafe. 294 

Iohamws. The sothe behowys me nede to say, 
he is damyd to dede this day, 

Ther may no sorow hym safe. 297 

Maria Iacdbi. Good Iohn, teU vnto vs two What thou of 

hir wiH crafe, 
And we wiH gladly go And help that thou it haue. 299 

IohsaciTies. Systers, youre mowrnyng may not 1 amende ; 
And ye wiH ever, or he take ende, 

Speke with my master free, 302 

Then must ye ryse and with me weynd', 
And kepe hym as he shaH be kend 

Withoutt yond same cyte ; 305 

If ye wiH nygh me nere, Com fast 1 and felowe me. 
M&ria. A, help me, systers dere ! That 1 I my son 
may see. 307 

Maria Magdalene. Lady, we wold weynd fuH fayn, 
Hertely With aH oure myght 1 and mayn, 

youre comforth to encrese. 310 

Maria. Good Iohn, go before and frayn. 
/o/z.annes. Lo, where he comraes vs euen agayn 

with aH yond mekyH prese ! 313 

AH youre mowrnyng in feyr / may not his sorow sese. 
Maria. Alas, for my son dere, / that 1 me to moder 
chese ! [They meet Jesus.] 315 

John re- 
minds her of 
the words oi 
Jesus as to 
His death 
and coming 

Mary Mag- 
dalen and 
Mary the 
mother of 
James hid 
him break 
the news 
first to them. 
He tells 
them Jesus 
is con- 

[Fol. 82, b.] 

If they 
would speak 
to Him 
again, they 
must make 

Mary bids 
John go hc- 
fore them. 

254 Towneley Plays. XXII. The Scourging. 


Mary would Alas, dere son for care / I se thi body blede ; 

Son's cross. My self I will for-fare / for the in this great drede, 

This cros on thi shnlder bare / to help the in this nede, 
I wiH it 1 bere with greatt hart 1 sare / wheder thay wiH the 
lede. 319 

Jesus*saysit Ifresus. This cros is large in lengthe / and also bustus 

is too heavy • ,_ •,-, 

for her. With all; 

If thou put to thi strengthe / to the erthe thou mon downe 

faH. 321 

Maria. A dere son, thou let me / help the in this case ! 

et inclinabit crucem ad m&trem suaux. 

Uiesus. lo, moder, I teH it* the / to bere no myght 1 thou 
Mary bids Maria. I pray the, dere son, it 1 may so be / to man thou 

Him have . . , . . 

pity on Him- gll thi grace, 

On thi self thou haue pyte / and kepe the from thi 
foyse. i 325 

Jesus says Ihesus. ffor sothe, moder, this is no nay / on cros I must 

He must die 

and rise dede Ore, 

ma™ ° And' from deth ryse on the thryd day / thus prophecy 

says by me ; 
Mans sauH that 1 I luffyd ay / I shall redeme securly, 
Into blis of heuen for ay / I shall it 1 bryng to me. 329 
The other Maria Magdalene. It is greatt sorow to any wyght / Ihesus, 
lament. to se with lues keyn, 

[Foi. 83, a. How he in dyuerse payns is dight / ffor sorow I water both 

Sig - N - 3J myn)eeyn. 331 

Maria Iacobi. This lord that is of myglif / clyd neuer 

yrl truly, 
Thise lues thay do not 1 right 1 / if thay deme hym to dy. 

Maria Magdalene. Alas ! what 1 shall we say ! / ihes?^s 
that is so leyfe, 334 

To deth thise lues this day / thay lede with paynes fuH 

1 The ryme needs fayse,' foes. 

Their hearts 
will cleave 
for sorrow. 

Towneley Plays. XXII. The Scourging. 

Maria Iacobi. He was furl true, I say / though thay dam 

hym as thefe, 
Mankynde he lufed aH way / for sorow my hart witl 

clefe. 337 

Ihesus. ye doghters of Ieimalem / 1 byd you wepe nothyng Jhlm Snt 

for me, 

for them- 
selves and 

Bott for youre self and youre barn-teme / behald I teH |*eir chii- 

you securle, 
Sore paynes ar ordand for this reme / in dayes herafter for 

to be ; 
youre myrth to bayH it* shaH downe streme / in euerj 

place of this cyte. 341 

Childer, certf/s, thay shaH blys / women baren that 1 neuer 

child bare, 
And pappes that 1 neuer gaf sowke, Ivvys / thus shaH 

thare hartys for sorow be sare ; 
The montayns hy and thise greatt hyllys / thay shali byd 

fail apon them thare, 
flor my bloode that 1 sakles is / to shede and. spyH thay 

wiH not spare. 345 

Secundus tortov. walk on, and lef e thi vayn carpyng / it 1 The second 

' J rj o l torturer bids 

shaH not saue the fro thy dede, Him cease 

tit- in Tii ^ 1S va * n 

wheder thise women cry or syiig / for any red* that 1 thay talking. 

can red'. 347 


Tevcius tortov. Say wherto abyde we here abowte, The other 

rm -7 • 7 1 torturers 

Thise qwenes with scremyng and wa/i snowte i threaten the 

May no man thare wovdys stere 1 350 

pamua tortov. Go home, thou casbald', with that clowte ! 

Or, by that 1 lord I leyfe and lowte, 

Thou shaH by iV fuH dere ! 353 

Maria Magdalene. This thyng shaH venyance caH / on 
you holly in fere. 

Secundus tortov. Go, hy the hens w T ith aH / or yli hayH 
cam thou here ! 

z'yus tortov. let aH this bargan be / syn aH oure toyles ar The third 

-, p torturer 

before; hurries 

This tratoure and this tre / I wold* fuH fayn were thore. 


Townelcy Plays. XXII. The Scourging. 

The third 
torturer sees 
that Jesus 
cannot bear 
the cross. 

They bid 
Simon eas 
Him of it. 

Simon says 
he is on a 

[Fol. 83, b.] 

The first tor- 
turer presses 
him for 
pity's sake, 
but Simon 
alleges his 

The second 
torturer says 
that Jesus 
must be dead 
by noon, 
and Simon 
must needs 
help them. 

Simon still 
excuses him- 

//us tortoi. If nadys not hym. to harli / this cros dos 

hym greatt dere, 
Bot yonder commys a carll / shaH help hym for to 
here. [Enter Simon of Gyrene.'] 

tjfus tortor. That 1 shaH we soyn se on assay. 
herk, good? man, wheder art* thou on away ? 

Thou walkes as thou were wrath. 362 

Symon. Syrs, I haue a greatt Iornay 
That 1 must be done this same clay, 

Or els it wiH me skathe. 365 

T&rcius tortor. Thou may with lytyH payn / easse hym 

and thi self both. 1 
Simon\ Good syrs, that 1 wold I fayn / bot 1 for to 
were furl loth. 1 

primus tortor. ^Nay, nay ! thou shaH fuH soyn be sped ; 
lo here a lad that 1 must 1 be led' 

fTor his yH dedys to dy, 
And he is bressed and aH for bled, 
That 1 makys vs here thus stratly sted ; 

we pray the, sir, for-thi, 
That 1 thou wiH take this tre / bere it 1 to caluary. 
Symon). Good sirs, that may not 1 be / ffor fuH greatt 
haste haue I, 

No longere may I hoyn. 
ijus tortor. In fayth thou shaH not 1 go so soyn 

fTor noght 1 that thou can say 
This dede must 1 nedys be done, 
And this carll be dede or noyn, 
And now is nere myd day ; 
And therfor 1 help vs at 1 this nede / and make vs here no 

more delay. 
SymonK I pray you do youre dede / and' let 1 me go my 
way ; 383 

And I shaH com fuH soyn agane, 
To help this man with aH my mayn, 

1 The ryme needs ' bath, lath.' 







Tu'umclcy Plays. XXII. The Scourging. 257 

Af youre awne wyH. 386 

idjus tortov. what 1 and wold? thou trus with sicli a trane 1 The tortur- 
JSay fatur, thou shaH be furl fayn, Simon. & m 

This forward to fulfyH ; 389 

Or, by the inyghf of mahowne ! / thou shaH lyke if 

fuft yH. 
primus, tortov. Tytf, let 1 dyng this dastard dovvne / bof 
he lay hand ther tyH. 391 

Symon\ Cevtys, that 1 were vnwysely wroghf, 
To beytf me bot if I trespasf oghf 

Ay there in worcle or dede. 394 

(/us tortov. Apon thi bak it shaH be broghf , He shall 

Thou berys it wheder thou wiH or noghf ! Cross, 

Dew r yH ! whom shuld we drede % 397 wiiiorno. 

And therfor take it 1 here belyfe / And bere if furth, good 

Symonl If helpys nof here to strife / bere if behoues me Simon sees 

, „ _ _ he must bear 

nede ; 399 it, 

And therfor, syrs, as ye haue sayde, and is well 

content to 

lo help this man I am well payde, help Christ. 

As ye wold thaf it were. 402 

iijviB tortov. A, ha ! now ar we righf arayde, 
bof loke oure gere be redy grade, 

To wyrk when we com there. 405 

primus tortov. I warand aH redy / oure toyles both moore [Foi. 84, a., 
andles, Sig - N - 4 - 1 

And sir symon truly / gose on before with cros. 407 

Tevcius tortov. Now by mahowne, oure heuen kym? The tortur- 

t ii n . , ers hurry to 

1 wold thaf we were m thaf stede their work, 

where we myghf hym on cros bryng. 
Step on before, and furth hym lede 

A trace. 412 

primus tortov. Com on thou ! 
ijus tortov. Put on thou ! 
iij u.8 tortor. I com fasf after you, 

And folowse on the chace. 416 

Explicit Flar/eJlacio. 



Towneley Plays. XXIII. The Crucifixion. 

Pilate calls 
for silence, 
with threats. 

Those who 
him, he will 
tame on the 
gallows, or 
beat them. 

Sequitur Processus cruris. 

[Dramatis Personae 

Pilatus. Quartus Tortor. Zongeus. 

Primus Tortor. Jesus. Josephus. 

Secundus Tortor. Maria. JVichodemus.] 

Tercius Tortor. Johannes. 

[1 thirteen-line stanza, abab cbcbd ccd ; 9 eleven-line, no. 38 aab 
ccb bd bbd, nos. 39, 40, 45, 70, 71, 72 aab aab be bbc, nos. 53 
and 54 aaab cccb dbd ; 1 ten-line, no. 52, aaab cccb, cb ; 1 nine- 
line, no. 57, aaaab cccb ; 5 eight-line, no. 1 abab abab, no. 51 abab 
aaab, nos. 50, 56 and 65 aaab cccb ; 1 seven-line, no. 3, aa bbc 
be ; 71 six-line, nos. 62, 63, 6Q, 68, 69 aaaab b, the rest aab ccb ; 
3 five-line, nos. 59, 61, 67 aaab b ; 6 four-line, no. 44 ab ba, 49, 
55, 58, 60 and 64 aaaa ; 1 three-line, no. 90, and 7 couplets.] 

pilatus. (1) 

PEasse I byd euereich Wight ! 
Stand as styH as stone in WaH, 
Whyls ye ar present in my sight, 
That none of you clatter ne carl ; 4 

ffor if ye do, youre dede is dighfr* 
I warne it you both greatt and smari, 
With this brand burnyshyd so bright 1 , 

Therfor in peasse loke ye be aH. 8 

What ! peasse in the dwillys name ! 

harlott?/s and dustard?/s arl bed one ! 
On galus ye be maide furi tame, 

The%s and mychers keyn ! 12 

wiH ye not peasse when I bid you 1 

by mahownys bloode, if ye me teyn, 
I shaH ordan sone for you, 

paynes that neuer ere was seyn, 

And that anone ! 17 

Be ye so bold' beggars, I warn you, 
ffurl boldly shaH I bett you, 
To heU the dwiH shaH draw you, 

Body, bak and bone. 


Townelaj Plays. XXIII. The Crucifixion. 


-I am a lord that 1 mekiH is of mygVif , 
prynce of aH Iury, sir pilate I bright, 
Nexti kyng herode grettyst of alt ; 
Bowys to my byddyng both greatt and small, 

Or els be ye shentt ; 26 

Therfor stere youre. tonges, I warn you aH, 

And vnto ys take tent. 28 

V ! ' (4) 

primus tortor. AH peasse, aH peasse, emang you aH ! 
And herkyns now what shaH befaH 

Of this fals chutTer here ; 31 

That 1 with his fals quantyse, 
hase lett hymself as god wyse, 

Emang^/s vs many a yere. 34 


he eals hym self a prophett, 
And says that he can bales bete, 

And make aH thyngys amende ; 
Bot or oght lang wytt we shaH 
wheder he can bete his awne bale, 

Or skapp out of oure hende. 

Was not this a wonder thyng, 
That he durst caH hym self a kyng 

And make so greatt 1 a lee 1 43 

Bot 1 , by mahowne ! whils I may lyf, 
Those prowde wordes shaH I neuer forgyf, 

TyH he be hanged on he. 46 

Secmidxis tortor. hys pride, fy, we sett 1 at 1 noght 1 , 
Bot ich man now kest in his thoght, 

And looke that we noght wante ; 49 

ffor I shaH fownde, if that I may, 
By the order of knyghtede, to day 

To cause his hart pante. 52 

T&scius tortor. And so shaH I with aH my myghf, 
Abate his pride this ylk nyghf, 


[Pol. 84, b.l 
His name is 

He is 

second only 
to King 

The 1st 
torturer bids 
the people 
listen to 
what shall 
befall Jesus, 
"this false 
chuff er," 

who says He 
can mend all 
„,_ Can He now 
o I mend His 


He called 
Himself a 
king, and 
shall not be 
forgiven His 
pride till He 
be hanged 
for it. 

The 2nd 
will make 
heart pant 
this day. 


Towneley Plays. XXIII. Tlie Crucifixion. 

The 3rd 
torturer says 
that Jesus 
can do a foul 
deed when 
He will. 

The 4th bids 
them see 
that they 
have all they 
need to 
fasten Jesus 

[Pol. 85, a.] 

They have 

hammer and 
nails. .. 

All His 
" niawmen- 
try " shall 
not serve 
Him now. 

They arrive 
at Calvary, 
and prepare 
for their 

And rekyn hym a crede ; 55 

Lo, he letys he cowde none yH, 
Bof he can ay, when he wyH, 

Do a fuH fowH dede. 5S 

Quartus tortor. yei felows, ye, as haue I rest 1 ! 
Emangi/s vs all I red we kestt 

To bryng this thefe to dede ; 61 

Loke that 1 we haue that we shuld nate, 
ffor to hald* this shrew strate. 

primus tortor. That was a nobytt red ! 64 

Lo, here I hane a bande, 
If nede be to bynd his hande ; 

This thowng, I trow, wiH last. 67 

Secuiadus tortor. And here oone to the othere syde, 
That shall abate his pride, 

Be it 1 be drawen fast 1 . 70 


iijus tortoi. lo, here a hamere and nales also, 
ffor to festen fast oure foo 

To this tre, fuH soyn. 73 

mjus tortoi. ye ar wise, withoutten drede, 
That so can help youre self at nede, 

Of thyng that* shuld be done. 76 


primus tortor. Now dar I say hardely, 
he shall with aH his mawmentry 

No longere vs be teH. 79 

ijus tortox. Syn pilate hase hym tyH vs geyn, 
haue done, belyfe ! let it be seyn 

how we can wifh hym meH. 82 

iijvLS tortoi. Now ar we at the montc of caluarye ; 
haue done, folows, and let now se 

how we can with hym lake. V '- 85 

it? jus, tortoi. yee, for as modee as he can loke, 
he wold haue turnyd an othere croke 

Myghf he haue had the rake. 88 

Towneley Plays. XXIII. The Crucifixion. 



primus tortor. In fayth, syr, sen ye callycl you a kyng, 
you must prufe a worthy thyng 

That 1 falles vnto the were; 91 

ye must lust in tornamente ; 
Bot 1 ye sytt fast els be ye shentt, 

Els downe I shall you here. 94 

As Jesus 
calls Him- 
self a king, 
He must 
joust in 
and sit fast 
on His 


Sticmidiis tortor. If thou be godys son, as thou tellys, 
Thou can the kepe ; how shuld thou ellys ? 

Els were it merueft greatt 1 ; 
And bot if thou can, we wiU not trow 
That thou hase saide, bot 1 make the mow 

when thou syttys in yond sett 1 . 

iijus tortov. If thou be kyng we shall thank adyH, 
ffor we shaH sett the in thy sadyH, 

ff or faHvng be thou bold*. 
I hete the weH thou bydys a shaft* ; 
Bot 1 if thou sytt 1 weH thou had better laft 

The tales that thou has told?. 

iiijus tortox. Stand? nere, felows, and let se 
how we can hors oure kyng so fre, 

By any craft 1 ; 
Stand thou yonder on yond syde, 
And we shaH se how he can ryde, 

And how to weld* a shaft 1 . 

primus tortor. Sir, commys heder and haue done. 
And wyn apon youre palfray sone, 

ffor he [is] redy bowne. 
If ye be bond tiH 'hym, be not wrothe, 
ffor be ye secure we were fuH lothe 

On any wyse that 1 ye feH downe. 

Secmidus tortor. knyt thou a knott, with aH tlii streriglit 1 , 
ffor to draw this arine on lengthe, 

If He be 

God's Son, 

He can 
A _ guard Him- 
97 self. 








They will 
set Him in 
His saddle, 
and He need 
not fear a 

Let them see 
how they can 
horse their 

[Fol. 85, b.] 

His palfrey 
is ready, 
and He must 
be bound to 


Towneley Plays. XXIII. The Crucifixion. 

They draw 
out Christ's 

bind them 
with ropes, 

and nail 
them ; 

hold down 
His knees, 

draw down 
the legs 

pierce them, 
and nail 

TyH it com to the bore. 121 

Tevcius tortov. Thou madd^/s, man, bi this light ! 
It 1 wantys, tyli ich mans sight 1 , 

Othere half span and more. 124 

Quartus tortov. yit 1 drawe owt this arme and fest it fast 1 , 
with this rope that well wiH last, 

And ilk man lay hand to. 127 

primus tortov. yee, and bynd thou fast 1 that band ; 
we shaH go to that 1 othere hand 

And loke what 1 we can do. 130 

ijuB tortov. Do dryfe a nayrl ther thrugh outft, 
And then thar vs nothyng doutt, 

ffor it wiH not brest 1 . 133 

iijus tortov. That shaH I do, as myght I thryfe ! 
nor to clynke and for to dryfe, 

Therto I am furl prest 1 ; 136 

So lett it styk, for it is wele. 
iiijus tortov. Thou says sothe, as haue I cele ! 

Ther can no man it mende. 
j>?ri??2us tortov. hald downe his knees. 
$ecun<#us tortov. 
his norysh" yede neuer better to ; 

Lay on aH your hende. 

Tevcius tortov. Draw out hys lymmes, let se, haue at ! 
m)*us tortov. That was weH drawen that that; 

ffare faH hym that so puld ! 
ffor to haue getten it to the marke, 
I trow lewde man ne clerk 

ISTothyng better shuld. 

pv'imus tortov. hald it 1 now fast thor, 
And oone of you take the bore, 

And then may it 1 not 1 fay 11. 
ij us tortov. That shaH I do withoutten drede, 
As euer myght I weft spede, 

hym to mekyH bayH. 


that shaH I do. 






Towneley Plays. XXIII. The Crucifixion. 2R3 

Tercius tortov. So, that is well, it will not brest H , [Foi. 86, a.] 

Bot let now se who dos the best* to puinhe 

with any slegthe of hancle. 157 gEfJjjj 

iiijus tortor. Go we now vnto the othere ende ; a rope - 

ffelowse, festt on fast youre hende, 

And puH weH at this band. 160 

primus tortor. I red, felowse, by this wedyr, At first 

•L, . „ . ,. all pull to- 

lhat 1 we draw all ons togedir, gether. 

And loke how it wyH fare. 163 

ijna tortor. let now se and lefe yonre dyn ! 
And draw we ilka syn from syn ; 

ffor nothyng let vs spare. 166 

iiius tortor. Nay, felowse, this is no cram 1 But the 

J J ' ' & 3rd and 4th 

we wiH no longere draw aH sam, torturers 

So mekiH haue I asspyed. 169 oneissham- 

iiijus tortor. No, for as haue I blys ! 

Som can twyk, who so it is, 

Sekys easse on som kyn syde. 172 

primus tortor. If is better, as I hope, The 1st pro- 

On by his self to draw this rope, each man 

. , , , pulls by hiin- 

And then may we se 175 self. 

who it is that 1 ere while 
AH his felows can begyle, 

Of this companye. 178 

Secuudus tortor. Sen thou wiH so haue, here for me ! They vie 

how draw I, as myght thou the % other^n 5 

Tercius tortor. Thou drew right wele. 181 

haue here for me half a foyte ! 
quartus tortor. wema, man ! I trow thou doyte ! 

Thou flyt it neuer a dele ; 184 

Bot haue for me here that I may ! 
priwras tortor. WeH drawen, son, bi this day ! 



Towneley Plays. XXIIL The Crucifixion. 

The tortur- 
ers excite 
each other 
to pull the 
Cross to the 

Hold still 
there ! 

Now to bore 
the hole for 
the Cross to 
stand in ! 

[Fol. 86, b.] 

They call to 
one another 
to lift the 

and set it in 
the mortice. 

Thou gose weH to thi warke ! 187 

Secxmdus tortor. yit efte, whils thi hande is in, 
puH therat 1 with som kyn gyn. 

iijus tortor. yee, & bryng it to tliQ marke. 190 

quarhis tortor. puH, pull ! 
primus tortor. haue now ! 

ijuB tortor. let se ! 

w/us tortov. A ha ! 

mj'us tortor. yit a draght! 

primus tortor. Therto with aH my maght. 

^/us tortor. A, ha ! hold still thore ! 193 

iijus tortor. So felowse ! looke now belyfe, 
which of you can best dryfe, 

And I shaH take the bore. 196 

Quartus tortor. let me go therto, if I shaH ; 
I hope that 1 I be the best mershaH 

ffor [to] clynke it right. 199 

do rase hym vp now when we may, 
ffor I hope he & his pal fray 

ShaH not twyn this nyght 1 . 202 

£>ri??2us tortor. Com hedir, felowse, & haue done ! 
And help that this tre sone 

To lyft with aH youre sleghtt. 205 

ijus tortor. yit let vs wyrke a whyle, 
And noman now othere begyle 

To iV be broghtt on heghfr. 208 

iijus tortor. ffelowse, fest on aH youre hende, 
ffor to rase this tre on ende, 

And let se who is last 1 . 211 

iiijus tortor. I red we do as that he says ; 
Set we the tre in the mortase, 

And ther wiH it stand fast 1 . 214 

primus tortor. Yp with the tymbre. 
Secxmdus tortor. a, it hcldys ! 

ffor hym that aH this warld weldys 

Townclcy Plays: XXIII. The Crucifixion. 265 

put fro the with thi hande ! 217 

iijus tortor. hald? euen emang?/s vs all. 
iiijus tortor. yee, and? let it into the mortase faH, 

ffor then wiH it best stande. 220 

Let it drop 
into the mor- 
tice : 

it will stand 

primus tortor. Go we to it 1 and be we strong, 
And rase if, be it neuer so long, 

Sen that it is fast bon. 223 

?)'us tortor. Vp with the tymbre fast on en do ! 
iijus tortor. A felowse, fayr faH youre hende ! 

iiijus tortor. so sir, gape agans tJie son ! 226 

They lift it 
into place, 
and mock 

primus tortor. A felow, war thi crowne ! 
^/us tortor. Trowes thou this tymbre witi oght downe ? 

iijus tortor. yit help that it were fast. 229 

mj'us tortor. Shog hym weH: & let vs lyfte. 
primus tortor. ffuH shorte shalbe his thryfte. 

ijus tortor. A, it stand?/s vp lyke a mast 1 . 

Ihesus. I pray you pepyH that passe me by, 
That lede youre lyfe so lykandly, 

heyfe vp youre hartys on hight ! 
Behold' if euer ye sagh body 
Buffet & bett thus blody, 

Or yit thus dulfully dight 1 ; 
In warld was neuer no wight 

That suffred half so sare. 
My mayn, my mode, my myght, 
Is noght bot sorow to sight 1 , 

And comforth none, bot 1 care. 

cfoct It stands up 
<->o~i like a mast. 



Jesus calls 
to them that 
pass by to 
see how He 


My folk, what haue I done to the, 
That 1 thou aH: thus sharl tormente me 1 

Thy syn by I fuH sore, 
what haue I greuyd the 1 answere me, 
That 1 thou thus nalys me to a tre, 

And aH for thyn erroure ; 

[Fol. *r, a.] 

What have 
I done to 
246 thee, My 
folk, that 
thou tor- 
mentest Me 
thus ? 



Towneley Plays. XXIII. The Crucifixion. 

How shalt 
thou atone 
for this dis- 
honour thou 
doest Me ? 

Beasts and 
birds have 
their resting 
places, but 
God's Son 
has only His 
shoulder to 
lay His head 

I have made 
thee in My 
and thou re- 
payest Me 

By this 

suffering I 
buy Adam's 

where shall thou seke socoure 1 

This mys how shali thou amende? 251 

when that thou thy saveoure 
Dryfes to this dyshqnoure, 

And nalys thrugh" feete and hende ! 254 


AH creatoures that kynde may kest, 
Beestys, hyrdys, ail haue thay rest, 

when thay ar wo begon ; 257 

Bofr godys son, that 1 shnld? he "best, 
base not where apon his hede to rest, 

Bot on his shuder bone. 260 

To whome now may I make my mone 1 

when thay thus martyr me, 
And sakles wiH me slone, 
And beete me Mode and bone, 

That my brethere shuld? be ! 265 


what kyndnes shuld? I kythe theym to 1 
haue I not done that I aght to do, 

Maide the to my lyknes 1 268 

And thou thus refys me rest & ro, 
And lettys thus lightly on me, lo ! 

Sich is thi caty fnes. 271 

I haue the kyd kyndnes, / Ynkyndly thou me quytys ; 
Se thus thi wekydnes ! / loke how thou me dyspytys ! 273 

Gyltles thus am I put to pyne, 
Not* for [my] mys, man, bot for thyne, 

Thus am I rent on rode ; 276 

ffor I that tresoure wold? not tyne, 
That I markyd* & made for myne, 

Thus by I adam blode, 279 


That 1 sonkyn was in syn, 

with none erthly good ; 

Bot 1 with my flesh and blode 
That 1 lothe was for to wyn. 283 

Townelcy Plays. XXIII. 


The Crucifixion. 



My brethere that I com for to by, 

The brethren 
I came to 
save have 
hanged Me 
thus ; 

has hanged? me here thus hedusly, 

And freyndt/s fyncle I foyn ; 


Thus haue thay dight 1 me drerely, 

And ari by-spytt me spytusly, 

As helples man in won. 


[Fol. 87, b.] 

Bofr, fader, that syttys in trone, 

but, Father, 
forgive them 

fforgyf thou them this gylt, 

this guilt, 
they know 

I pray to the this boyn, 

not what 
they do. 

Thay wote not what thay doyn, 

Nor whom thay haue thus spy It. 



primus tortor. yis, what we do full weli we knaw. The tortur- 

ous tortor. yee, that shall he fynde within a thraw. 296 know well 

/An \ enough what 

{*() they are 

£Y/us tortor. JS"ow, with a myschaunce tyH his cors, 
wenys he that we gyf any force, 

what dwiH-so euer he ayH? 299 

iiijus tortor. ffor he wold tary vs arl day, 
Of his dede to make delay 

I terl you, sansfayH. 302 

primus tortor. lyft vs this tre emanges vs aH. They lift the 

ijus tortor. yee, and let it into the mortase fall, let it tail 

And that shall gar hym bresfr. 305 the mortice, 

..... -iiij_pi i £ ^ to make His 

n^us tortor. yee, and a« to-ryie hym lym from lyni. body burst 

iiijus tortor. And it wiH breke ilk ionte in hym. 

let se now who dos best. 308 

(49) [Mary advances.] 

Maria. Alas ! the doyH I dre / I drowpe, I dare in drede ! Mary ia- 
Whi hyngys thou, son, so hee? / my bayll begynnes to her Son's 

Alt blemyshyd is thi ble / I se thi body blede ! 
In warld, son, were neuer we / so wo as I in wede. 312 

My foode that I haue fed, 
In lyf longyng the led, 
ffuii stratly art thou sted 

Emanges thi foo-men feH ; 316 



Towneley Plays. XXIII. The Crucifixion. 

No tongue 
can tell her 
grief at her 

Sick sorow forto se, 
My dere barn, on the, 
Is more mowrnyng to me 

Then any tong may teH. 


How may 
she look on 
His face and 
body thus 
disfigured ! 


Alas ! thi holy hede 
hase not wheron to helde ; 
Thi face with blode is red, 

Was fare as floure in f eylde ; 
how shuld I stand? in sted 
To se my barne thus blede % 
Bett as bio as lede, 

And has no lym to weylde ! 



His hands 
LFol. 88, a.] 

and feet are 
His skin 
His sides 
stream with 


fTestynd both hand?/s and feete 
With nalys full vnmete, 
his woundes wrynyng wete, 

Alas, my childe, for care ! 
ffor aH rent is thi hyde ; 
I se on aythere syde 
Teres of blode downe glide 

Ouer aH thi body bare. 
Alas ! that euer I shuld byde 

And se my feyr thus fare ! 



John shares 
in her grief 
for her Son, 
who was a 
good Master 
to him and 
many more. 


Iohoxmes. Alas, for doyH, my lady dere ! 

AH for-changid is thi chere, 

To see this prynce withoutten pere 

Thus lappyd aH in wo ; 
he was thi fode, thi faryst foine, 
Thi luf, thi lake, thi lufsom son, 
That high on tre thus hyngys alone 

with body blak and bio ; 
Alas ! 

To me and many mo 
A pood master he was. 

[John advances, .] 




Towneley Plays. XXIII. The Crucifixion. 269 


Bofr, lady, sen it is his wiH But Jesus 

The prophecy to f lllfyH, pain by His 

That mankynde in sy[n] not spirl therefore 

she should 
slake her 

ffor theym to thole this payn ; 353 

And with his dede raunson to make, 
As p?'ophetys beforn of hym spake, 
fibr-thi I red? thi sorowe thou slake, 

Thi Wepyng may not gayn ; 357 

In sorowe 
Oure boytt he byes fuH bayn, 1 

Ys aH from bale to borowe. 1 360 

Maria. Alas! thyn een as cristali clere / that shoyn as Maryia- 

. i , , meats 

SOn m Sight, afresh. 

That lufly were in lyere / lost thay haue thare light, 
And wax aH faed in fere / aH dym then ar thay dight ! 
In payn has thou no pere / that is withoutten pight. 364 

Swete son, say me thi thoght, She calls on 

., 1 Jesus to tell 

what wonders has thou wrognt her why He 


To be in payn thus broght 1 , these things. 

Thi blissed blode to blende ] 368 

A son, thynk on my wo ! 
whi wiil thou fare me fro 1 
On mold 1 is noman mo 

That may my myrthes amende. 372 

Iohaames. Comly lady, good and couth, / filiyw wold I [FoL 88, b.] 
comfortfi the; S/Lrof 

Me mynnys my master with mowth, / told vnto his menyee j^ ™° a r s d t of 
That 1 he shuld? thole fuH mekiH payn / and dy apon a tre, Hi ? death 

L •> I j y » and resur- 

And to the lyfe ryse vp agayn, / apon the thryd day shuld action, 
it be 
ffuH right ! 377 

ffor-thi, my lady swete, 
Stynt a while of grete ! 
Oure bale then will he bete 

As he befor has hight. 381 

1 These favo lines are written as one in the MS. 


Toivncley Plays. XXIII. The, Crucifixion. 

Mary is mad 
with her 

she sees the 
robe she 
gave Jesus 
all rent. 

She laments 
for her come- 
ly child, 

and calls on 
maids and 
wives to 
weep with 

John says it 
is His love 
which makes 
Jesus suffer 
thus for us. 

[Fol. 89, a., 
Sig. O. 1.] 

Mary thinks 
she has lived 
too long. 

Maria. Mi sorow it is so sad / no solace may me safe ; 
Mowrnyng mak?/s me mad / none hope of help I hafe ; 
I am redles and rad / ffor ferd that I mon rafe ; 
Noght may make me glad / to I be in my grafe. 385 

To deth my dere is dryffen, 
his robe is aH to-ryffen, 
That of me was hym gyffen, 

And shapen with my sjdys ; 389 

Thise lues and he has stryffen / That aH the bale he hydys. 

Alas, my lam so mylde / whi wiH thou fare me fro 
Emang thise wulfes wylde / that wyrke on the this wo ? 
ffor shame who may the shelde / ffor freynd?/s has thou fo ! 
Alas, my comly childe / whi wiH thou fare me fro ? 394 

Madyns, make youre mone ! 
And wepe ye, wyfes, euerichon, 
with me, most wrich, in wone, 

The childe that 1 borne was best ! 
My harte is styf as stone / That for no bayH wirl brest. 399 

Iolmnnes. A, lady, weH wote I / thi hart is full of care 
when thou thus openly / sees thi childe thus fare ; 
luf gars hym rathly / hym-self wiH he not spare, 
Ys aH fro baiH to by / of blis that ar fuH bare 403 

ffor syn. 
My lefe lady, for-thy / Of mowrnyng loke thou blyn. 405 

Maria. Alas ! may euer be my sang / Whyls I may lyf 

in leyd ; 
Me thynk now that I lyf to lang / to se my barne thus blede ; 
lues wyrke with hym aH wrang / wherfor do thay this 

lo, so hy thay haue hym hang /thay let for no drede : 409 

Whi so 
his fomen is he emang 1 ? / ~No freynde he has, bof fo. 411 

1 These stanzas, as well as No. 67, are really six-line stanzas, 
aaab ab. 

Toivnclcy Plays. XXIII. The Crucifixion. 271 

My frely foode now farys me fro / what shall worth on me 1 what shall 
Thou art warpyd aH in wo / and spred here on a tre her when her 

jv, n , i A -i a child is thus 

ffuH hee / 414 tortured? 

I mowrne, and so may mo / That 1 sees this payn on the. 

Ioh&imes. Dere lady, weH were me John would 

fain comfort 

If that I myght comfortn the ; her. 

ffor the sorow that 1 I see 

Sherys myn harte in sondere ; 419 

when that I se my master hang 
With bytter paynes and Strang, 
Was neuer wight 1 with wrang 

Wroght 1 so niekiH wonder. 423 

Maria. Alas, dede, thou dwellys to lang! / whi art thou Maryup- 

, . , „ n braids Death 

hid iro me % for going to 

Who kend the to my childe to gangl / aH hlak thou andnot'siay- 

i i'ii ing her also. 

mak^/s his ble; 
Now witterly thou wyikys wrang / the more I wiH wyte the, 
Bofr if thou will my harte stang / that I myght with 

hym dee 427 

And byde ; 
Sore syghyng is my sang, / ffor thyrlyd? is his hyde ! 429 

A, dede, what has thou done 1 / with the wiH I moytt sone, 
Sen I had childer none bot oone / best 1 vnder son or moyn ; 
ffreyndys I had fuH foyn / that gars me grete and qrone God grant 

4V u , 99 her to live 

null SOre. 433 noinoro. 

Good lord, graunte me my boyn / and let me lyf no more ! 

GabrieH, that good / som tyme thou can me grete, o Gabriel, 

how have 

And then I vnderstud / thi wovdys that were so swete ; thy promises 

' „ to me been 

13ot now thay meng my moode / nor grace thou can me hete, fulfilled? 
To bere aH of my blode / a childe oure baiH shuld? bete 

with right 1 ; 
Now hyngys he here on rude / Where is that thou me highf? 


AH that thou of blys / hight 1 me in that stede, 

ffrom myrth is faren omys / and yit I trow thi red ; 442 


Toivncley Plays. XXIII. The Crucifixion. 

Mary cries Thi counceii now of this / my lyfe how shaH I lede 

[Foi. 89, b.] "When fro me gone is / he that was my hecle 444 

My dede now comen it is / My dere son, haue mercy ! 44 G 


IJiesus. My moder mylde, thou chaunge thi chere ! 
hyng sere, 

Jesus bid 


from the Sease of thi sorow and si 

pains Him It sy ttys vnto my hart f uH sare 1 

more than rm ^ t nc t 

His own. lhe sorow is sharp i simre here, 
to^aveman- Bot doyH thou drees, my moder dere, 
Me marters mekiH mare. 1 
Thus will my fader I fare, 

To lowse mankynde of bandys ; 
his son WiH: he not 1 spare, 
To lowse that bon was are 

ffuH fast in iejndys hand?/s. 





The fyrst cause, moder, of my co?ftmyng 
Was for mankynde myscarying, 
To salf thare sore I soght 1 ; 
Let her cease Therfor, moder, make none mowrnyng, 
in g , and let Sen mankynde thrugh my dyyng 

John and she _ -. . . . ,,., , •,. 

be as son May thus to blis be boght 1 . 

Woman, wepe thou right noght ! 

Take ther Iohn vnto thi chylde ! 
Mankynde must nedys be boght, 
And thou kest, cosyn, in thi thoght ; 
Iohn, lo ther thi moder mylde ! 




He calls on 
mankind to 
repay His 
with stead- 

Blo and blody thus am I bett, 
Swongen with swepys & aH to-swett, 

Mankynde, for thi mysdede ! 
ffor my luf lust when Wold thou lett, 
And thi harte sadly sett, 

Sen I thus for the haue blede 1 



1 MS. sore. more. 

Townehy Plays. XXIII. The Crucifixion. 


Sich lyf, for sothe, I led*, 
That vnothes may I more ; 
This suffre I for thi nede, 
To marke the, man, thi mede : 

Now thryst I, wonder sore. 
primus tortor. Noght hot hold? thi peasse ! 
Thon shall haue drynke within a resse, 

My self shalbe thy knaue ; 
haue here the draght that I the hete, 
And I shaH warand it is not swete, 

On aH the good I haue. 

Sexundus tortor. So syr, say now aH youre wiH ! 
ffor if ye couth haue holden you styH 

ye had not had this brade. 
Tercius tortor. Thou wold aH gaytt be kyng of lues, 
Bot by this I trow thou rues 

AH that 1 thou has sayde. 
iiijus tortor. he has hym rused' of great prophes, 
That 1 he shuld make vs tempylles, 

And gar it cleyn downe faH ; 
And yit 1 he sayde he shuld? it 1 rase 
As well as it was, within thre dayes ! 

he lyes, that wote we aH ; 
And for his lyes, in great dispyte 
we wiH departe his cloth yng tyte, 

Bot he can more of arte. 
jprimus to?ior. yee, as euer myght I thryfe, 
Soyn wiH we this mantyH ryfe, 

And ich man take his parte. 
ijus tortor. how wold* thou we share this clothe 1 
iijus tortor. Nay forsotfre, that were I lothe, 

Then were if aH-gate spylt ; 
Bot assent thou to my saw, 
lett 1 vs aH cutt draw, 

And then is none begylt 1 . 















The 1st 
offers Him a 
bitter drink. 

The others 
mock Him 
by recalling 
His words: — 

His claim of 

His boast 

[Fol. 90, a. 
Sig. O. 2. J 

of destroying 
the temple, 
and raising 
it in three 

In despite 
of His lies 
they will 
divide His 
clothes be- 
tween them. 

There is one 

garment too 

good to be 

cut : 

for this they 

will draw 


274 Towneley Plays. XXIII. The Crucifixion. 

The 4th 
wins the gar- 
and the 1st 
offers to buy 
it of him. 

They see an 
newly writ- 
ten on the 

and guess it 
is by Pilate. 

They go to 
look at it. 

It is in He- 
brew, Latin, 
and Greek, 
and hard to 

The 3rd 
torturer is 
the best 
and explains 
it as 

Jesus of 
King of the 

m)' us tortor. how so befall ys now wytt I draw ! 
This is myn by comon law, 

Say not ther agayn. 512 

primus tortor. Now sen if may no better be, 
Chevich the with it for me, 

Me thynk thou art ful fayn. 515 


ijus tortor. how felowse, se ye not yond skraw 1 
It 1 is writen yonder within a thraw, 

Now sen that we drew cut. 518 

iijilB tortor. There is noman that is on lyfe 
Bot it were pilate, as myght I thrife, 

That durst it ther haue putt. 521 

m/us tortor. Go we fast and let* vs loke 
what is wretyn) on yond boke, 

And what it 1 may bemeyn. 524 

primus, tortor. A the more I loke theron 
A the more I thynke F fon ; 

AH is not 1 worth a beyn. 527 

•y us tortor. yis, for sothe, me thynk I se 
Theron writen langage thre, 

Ebrew and latyn 530 

And grew, me thynk, writen theron, 
ffor it 1 is hard for to expowne. 

iijus tortor. Thou red, by appolyn ! 533 

m/us tortoY. yee, as I am a trew knyght, 
I am the best latyn wright 

Of this company ; 53G 

I will go withoutten delay 
And teH you what it is to say ; 

Behald', syrs, witterly ! 539 

yonder is wretyn) " ihesu of nazareyn [Foi. 9Q,b.j 

lie is kyng of lues," I weyn. 

Towneley Plays. XXIII. TJie Crucifixion. 


^>iimus tortor. A ! that is writen) wrang 1 . 542 

Secrmdus tortor. he callys hym so, bot he is none. 
iijus tortor. Go we to pilate and make oure mone ; 

haue done, and dwell not lang. 545 

(84) [They approach Pilate.'] 
pilate, yonder is a fals tabyH, . 
Theron is wryten noght bot fabyH ; 

Of Ines he is not kyng ! ,548 

he callys hym so, bot he not is : 
It 1 is falsly writen, Iwys, 

This is a wrangwys thyng. 551 

■ (85) 
Pilatus. Boys, I say, what meH ye you ? 
As it is writen shall it be now-, 

I say certane ; 554 

Quod scriptu??i scripsi, 
That same wrote I, 

What gadlyng gruches ther agane? 557 

quartus tortov. Sen that he is man of law / he must nedys 

haue his wiR ; 
I trow he had not writen that saw / without som p?*opre 

primus tortor. yee, let it hyng aboue his hede, 
It shall not saue hym fro the dede, 

Noght that he can write. 562 

ijus tortor. Now yHa hale was he borne. 
iijus tortor. Ma-fay, I teH his lyfe is lorne, 

he shalbe slayn as tyte. 565 

If thou be crist, as men the caH, 
Com downe emang?/s vs aH, 

And thole not thies myssaes. 568 

m)'us tortor. yee, and help thi self that we may se, 
And we shaH aH trow in the, 

what soeuer thou says. 571 

pri??zus tortor. he cals hym self good of myght, 
Bot I wold se hym be so wight 

The tortur- 
ers think the 
wrong, and 
complain to 

Pilate will 
have none 
of their 

The tortur- 
ers think 
Pilate, as a 
lawyer, must 
know best. 

At any rate 
it won't save 
Jesus from 

They bid 
Him come 
down from 
the Cross, 
and save 


Townelcy Plays. XXIII. The Crucifixion. 

raise Laza- 
rus, but 
cannot help 

To do sich a clede 
he rasyd lazare out of his delfe, 
Bot he can not help hym self, 

Now in his greatt nede. 



Jesus cries 
to God. 

The tortur- 
ers mis- 

[Fol. 91, a. 
Sig. O. 3.] 

Jesus com- 
mends His 
soul to the 

The tortur- 
ers make 
Longeus, a 
blind knight, 
pierce His 
side with a 

Ihesn. hely, hely, lamazabatany ! 
My god, my god, wherfor and why 
has thou forsakyn me % 


tjus tortor. how ! here ye not, as well as T, 
how he can now on hely cry 

Apon his wyse 1 
Tereius tortor. yee, ther is none hely in this countre 
ShaH delyuer hym from this mene3e, 

On nokyns wyse. 

iiijus tortor. I warand you now at the last 
That he shall soyn yelde the gast, 

ffor brestyn is his gall. 
Ihesu. Now is my passyon broght tyH ende ! 
ffader of heuen, in to thyn hende 

I betake my sauH ! 

primus tortor. let one pryk hym with a spere, 
And if that it do hym no dere 

Then is his lyfe nere past*. 
ijus tortor. This blynde knyght may best do that". 
longeus. Gar me not do bot I wote what 1 . 

iijus tortor. Not bot put vp fast. 








receives his 
sight, and 
craves for- 
giveness for 
the body of 

longeus. A, lord, what may this be 1 
Ere was I blynde, now may I se ; 
Godys son, here me, ihesu ! 
ffor this trespas on me thou rew. 
ft'or, lord, othere men me gart, 
that I the stroke vnto the hart : 
I se thou hyngys here on hy, 
And dyse to fulfyH the prophecy. 



TotL'nclcy Plays. XXIII. The Crucifixion. 


iiijus tortor. Go we hence and leyfe hyrn here, 
ffor I shaH be his borghe to-yere 

he felys no more payn ; 609 

ffor hely ne for none othere man 
AH the good tha euer he wan 

Gettys not 1 his lyfe agayn. 612 

[Exeunt Tortor es. Joseph of Arimathea and 
Nicodemus advance."] 
Joseph. Alas, alas, and walaway ! 
That euer shuld I abyde this day, 

To se my master dede ; 615 

Thus wykydly as he is shent, 
with so bytter tornamente, 

Thrugh fals lues red CIS 

Xychodeme, I wold we yede 
To sir pilate, if we myght spede, 

his body for to craue ; 621 

I will fownde with art my myght, 
ffor my seruyce to aske that knyght 

his body for to graue. 624 

Niclwdemus. Ioseph, I will weynde with the 
ffor to do that 1 is in me, 

ffor that body to pray ; 627 

ffor oure good will and oure trauale 
I hope that it mon vs avaylt 

here afterward som day. 630 

Joseph. Syr pylate, god the saue ! [They go to Pilate.} 
Graunte me that I craue, 

If that it be thi wiU. 633 

pilatus. Welcom, Ioseph, myght thou be ! 
what so thou askys I graunte it the, 

So that it be skyH. 636 

Iosepfc. ffor my long seruyce I the pray 
Graunte me the body — say me not nay — 

The 3rd 
torturer says 
they may 
leave Jesus 
now, for 
none may 
briny Him to 
life again. 

Joseph of 
laments the 
death of 

He proposes 
to Nicode- 
mus that 
they beg 
leave of Pi- 
late to bury 
the body. 

will go with 

[Fol. 91, b.] 

Joseph asks 
a boon ; 
Pilate grants 

Townel&y Plays. XXIII. The Crucifixion. 

boon is that 
he may bury 

He thanks 
Pilate for 
granting it, 
and himself 
draws the 
nails from 
the Cross, 

while Nico- 
demus up- 
holds the 
body of 

They wrap 
the body, 
and bear it 
to the tomb. 

Of ihesu, dede on rud. 639 

pilatus. I graunte weH if he ded be, 
Good leyfe shall thou haue of me, 

Do with hym what thou thynk gud. 642 

Ioseph. Gramercy, syr, of youre good grace, 
That 1 ye haue graunte me in this place ; 

Go we oure way : [They return to Calvary.~\ 645 
Nychodeme, com me furth with, 
ffor I my self shall be the Smyth. 

The nales out for to dray. 648 

JSttchodemus. Ioseph, I am redy here 
To go with the with furl good chere, 

To help the at my myght ; 651 

puH furth the nales on aythere syde, 
And I sharl hald? hym vp this tyde ; 

prays that 
Christ, who 
died and rose 
again, may 
bless the 

A, lord, so thou is dight 1 ! 


Ioseph. help now, felow, with aft thi myght 1 , 
That he were wonden and weH dight, 

And lay hym on this bere ; 
Bere we hym furth vnto the kyrke, 
To the tombe that I gard wyrk, 

Sen full many a yere. 

Nichodemus. It shaH be so with outten nay. 
he that dyed on gud fry day 

And crownyd was with thorne, 
Saue you aH that now here be ! 
That lord that 1 thus, wold? dee 

And rose on pasche morne. QQG 

Explicit crucifixio Christi. 1 
1 MS. xpi. 




Townelcy Plays. XXIV. The Talents. 279 

Incipit Processus taleratorwm. 

[Dramatis Personae. 

Pilalus. I Secundus Tortor, j Tercius Tortor. 

Primus Tortor. j| (Spyll-payn) \ Consultus.] 

[2 ten-line stanzas, no. 5 aaaaab cccb, %o. 54 ab aab cdbcb ; 8 ?n'%<?- 
fo'wc, aaaab cccb ; 13 eight-line, no. 6 abab eded, ?io. 47 abca bdbd, 
mo. 53 abc acd cd, the res^aaab cccb ; 15 seven-line, no. 29 abacd 
bd, no. 55 aaab cdb, the rest ababc be ; 1 six-line, no. 46 aba ede ; 
5 five-line, no. 17, 18 abbba, nos~: 22-3, 32 ababc; 11 four-line, 
no. 26 abba, nos<- 27, 33, 44 abeb, wo. 38 abca, nos. 51-2 abed, the [Fol. 92, a., 
rest abab.] Sig. O. 4.] 

jpilahis. (1) 

Ernite qui statis / 1 quod mire sira probitatis, Pilate calls 

TT . . -, . . . in Latin for 

Hec cognoscatis / vos cedam ni taceatis, silence. 


I j Cuwcti discatis / quasi sistam vir deitatis 
X^J Et maiestatis / michi fando ne neceatis, 

hoc modo mando ; 5 

Neue loquaces, 
Siue dicaces, 
poscite paces, 

Dum fero fando. 9 

Stynt, I say ! gyf men place / quia sum dominus dominoxum I in Latin 

J ' J oJ , • i , and English 

he that agans me says / rapietur lux oculorwm ; he bids the 

Therfor gyf ye me space / ne tendam vim brachiorwm, room, 

And then get ye no grace / eontestor Iura polorwm, 

Caueatis ; 1 4 

Rewle I the lure, 
Maxime pure, 
Towne quoque rure, 

Me paueatis. 18 

(3) . 

Stemate regali / kyng atus gate me of pila ; boasting of 

Tramite legali / Am I ordand to reyn apon Iuda, and power. 

Nomine wlgari / pownce pilate, that may ye well say, 
Qui bene wit fari / shuld caH me fownder of all lay. 

1 The metrical bars (/) are not in the MS., but the lines are 
divided by dots, thus : The rymes in this play are very irregular : 
see st. 30, 46, 53, 54, etc. 

2 " Kyng Atus gate me of Pila" ; hence " Pilatus." 


Towneley Plays. XXIV. TJie Talents. 

He is ruler 
of the Jews. 

Iura guberno, 
pleasse me and say so, 
Om7ii& firmo 

Sorte deor^^??^. 



Csesar has 
exalted him, 
and all men 
must be 

Myghty lord of aH / me Cesar magnificauit ; 
Downe on knees ye faH / greatt god me sawctf/ficauit, 
Me to obey ouer aH / regi reliquo quasi dauid, 
hanged hy that he saH / hoc iussum qui rep?'obauit, 

I swere now ; 
Bot ye yonre hecU's 
Bare in thies stedts 
Redy my swerde is 

Of thaym to shere now. 



[Foi. 92, b.] Atrox armipotens / I graunt men girth by my good grace, 
Atrox armipotens / most myghty callyd in ylk place, 

He is 

quasF-cuncti- vir quasi cunctipotens / I graunt men girth by my good 

potent, and 

his laws grace, 

must be 

Tota refert huic gens / that none is worthier in face, 
Quin eciam bona mens / doith trowth and right 1 bi 
trew lays, 

Silete ! 
In generali, 
Sic speciali, 
yif agane bycl I 

Iura tenete. 




Leaving his 
Latin, he 
threatens to 
hang any boy 
who will not 
bow to bis 

loke that no boy be to bustus, blast here for to blaw. 
Bot truly to my talkyng loke that ye be intendyng ; 
If here be any boy that wiH not loutt tiH oure law, 
By myghty mahowne, hygh shall he hyng ; 50 

South, north, eest, west 1 , 
In aH this warld? in lengthe and brede, 

Is none so doughty as I, the best 1 , 
doughtely dyntand' on mule and on stede. 54 

Towudcy Plays. XXIV. The Talents. 



Therfor I say, 

loke that ye lowte to my lykance, 

ffor dowte of dynt in greuaunce ; 

dilygently ply to my plesance, 

As prynce most myghty me pay, 


And talke not a worde ; 
ffor who so styrres or any dyn makys, 
deply in my daunger he rakys, 
That as soferan me not takys 

And as his awne lorde. 


he has myster of nyghti/s rest 1 that nappys not in noynyng ! 
boy, lay me downe softly and hap me weH from cold* ; 
loke that no ladd^/s noy me nawder with cryyng nor with 

Nor in my sight 1 ones greue me so hold'. 
If ther be any boyes that make any cry, 
Or els that wiH not obey me, 
he were better be hanged? hy, 
Then in my sight ones mefe me. 




primus tortoT. war, war ! for now com I, 
The most shrew in this cuntry ; 
I haue rori) f uH fast in hy, 

hedir to this towne ; 
To this towne now comen am I 
ffrom the mownt of caluery ; 
Ther crist hang, and that furl hy, 

I swe[re] you, bi my crowne. 


At caluery when he hanged was, 
I spuyd and spyt right in his face, 
when that it shoyn as any glas, 

so semely to my sight 1 ; 
Bot yit for all that fayr thyng, 
I loghe hym vnto hethyng, 
And rofe of his clethyng ; 

To me it was fuH light. 




Let them 
bow, then, 
and obey, 

and speak 
not a word. 

He bids his 
boy lay him 
down softly, 
and see that 
no lads dis- 
turb him. 

The 1st 
comes in, 
having run 
from Cal- 

[Fol. 93, a.] 

He had spit 
in Christ's 
face, though 
it shone as 
and had 
Him of His 

282 Towneky Plays, XXIV. The Talents. 

when they And when his clothes were of in fere, 
Jesus, they lord, so we loghe and maide good chere, 
crowned And crownyd that carle with a brere, 

Him as a a-i-i-it t 

king. As he had bene a kyng ; 92 

And yit I did furl propurly, 
I clappyd his cors by and by, 
I thoght I did* full curiously 

In fayth hym for to hyng. 96 

He has Bot to mahowne I make avowe, 

clothing now hedir haue I broght his clethyng now, 
decide who To try the trowthe before you, 

is to have it. -r-i , n • -, . „ ,»>. 

Euen this same nyght ; 100 

Of me and of my felowse two 
with whom this garmente shali go ; 
bot sir pilate must go therto, 

I swere you by this light. 104 

Whoever ffor whosoeuer may get thise close, 

gets these , ,, i i i 

clothes may he ther neuer rek where he gose, 

w&lk fesr- 

lessiy, for ffor he semys nothyng to lose, 

him from If so be he theym were. 108 

bot now, now, felose, stand on rowme, 
ffor lie co??imes, shrewes, vnto this towne, 
And we wiH aH togede?* rowne, 

so semely in oure gere. 112 

The 2nd Secwndus tortor. war, war ! and make rowme, 
lowX^st ^ I wffl with m J felose rown e, 

in hot haste. ^ R( j j gj^jj j^ na p fry m on t j ie crowne 

That stzmdys in my gate ; 116 

I wiH lepe and I will skyp 
As I were now out of my wytt ; 
Almost my breke thay ar beshyt 

ffor drede I cam to late. 120 

[Foi. 93, b.] Pott, by mahowne ! now am I here I 
The most shrew, that dar I swere, 
That ye shall fynde aw where, 

Towneley Plays. XXIV. The Talents. 


SpyH-payn in fayth I hightt. 
I was at caluery this same day, 
where the kyng of lues lay, 
And ther I taght hym a newe play, 

Truly, me thoght it right. 



His na*nc 

The play, in fayth, it was to rowne, 
That he shuld* lay his hede downe, 
And sone I bobyd hym on the crowne, 

That gam me thoght was good, 
when we had played with hym oure fyH, 
Then led we him vnto an hyrr, 
And ther we wroght with hym oure will, 

And hang hym on a rud?. 



He has borne 
his part in 


Nomore now of this talkyng, 
Boft the cause of my co???myng ; 
Both on ernest and on hethyng 

This cote I wold' I had ; 
ffor if I myght this cote gett, 
Then wold I both skyp and lepe, 
And ther to fast both drynke and ete, 

In fayth, as I were mad. 



The cause of 
his coming 
is that lie al- 
so is anxious 
to get the 


Tevcius tortor. war, war ! within thise wones, 

ffor I com rynyng arl at ones ! 

I haue brysten both my balok stones, 

So fast hyed I hedyr ; 
And ther is nothyng me so lefe 
As murder a mycher* and hang a thefe : 
If here be any that cloth" me grefe 

I shall them thresh top;edir. 



The 3rd 
comes in as 
hurriedly as 
the others. 

ffor I may swere with mekiH wyn 
I am the most* shrew in aH myn kyn, 
That is from this towne vnto lyn, 

He is the 
shrew from 
this town to 

284 Towneley Plays. XXIV. The Talents. 

He and his lo, here my felowse two ! 156 

fellows are . 

come to di- Now ar we thre commen) in 

vide the . „ . , 

coat. A new gam lorto begyn, 

This same cote forto twyn, 

Or that we farther q;o. 160 

o v 

He proposes Bot to sir pilate prynce I red that we go hy, 
Pilate, but And present hym the playnt how that we ar stad ; 

see that Bot this gowne that 1 is here, I say you for-thy, 
not take the By myghty mahowne I wold not he had?. 164 

gown him- 

self. ^ 

[Foi. 94, a.] pv'wms tortor. I assent to that sagh, by myghty mahowne ! 
The others Let vs Weynde to sir pilate withoutten any fabyH ; 

Bot syrs, bi my lewte, he gettys not this gowne; 
Vnto vs thre it were right p?'ophetabyli ; 

Spili-payn what says thou ] 169 

Secundus tortor. youre sawes craftely assent I vnto. 
primus tortor. Then wiH I streght furth in this place, 
And speke with sir pilate word?/s oone or two, 
ftbr I am right semely and fare in the face ; 
And now shaH we se or we hence go. 174 

They ask the Tercius tortor. Sir, I say the, by my lewtee, 
S U pifate°, r where is sir pilate of pryce 1 

Gonsultus. Sir, I say the, as myght I the, 
he lyg^s here in the dewyH seruyce. 178 

and are told 
he lies there 
in the devil's 

but shall be jpvimus tortor. with that* prynce — fowll myght he fafi- 
waked. " Must we haue at do. 

Consultus. I shaH go to hym and eatf, 
And loke what ye wiH say hym to. 182 

Pilate bids My lord, my lorde ! 

pilatus. what, boy, art thou nyse 1 
carl nomore, thou has callid twyse. 
Consultus. my lord' ! 186 

the Coun 
sellor call 
him no more 

Towneley Plays. XXIV. The Talents. 



jrilatus. what mytyng is that that liievys me in my mynde % Pilate asks 

Consultus. I, lord, youre counselloure, pight in youre saw. any disaffec- 

pilatus. Say ar ther any catyffv/^ combred that ar vnkynde % told'"no." 

Consultus. Nay, lord, none that I knawe. 


2nlatus. Then noy vs nomore of this noyse ; 

you carles vnkynde, who bad you caH me 1 
By youre mad* maters I hald? you bot boyes, 

And that 1 shaH ye aby, els fowrl myght befall me. 
I shaH not dy in youre dett ! 

Bewshere, I byd< the vp thou take me, 
And in my sete softly loke that thou se me sett. 



He is angry 
at being dis 
but takes hi 
seat in his 

Now shaH we wytft, and that in hy, 

If that saghe be trew that 1 thou dyd say ; 
If I fynde the With lesyng, lad. thou shall aby, 

ffiorto meH in the maters that 1 pertenyth agans the lay. 

[Fol. 94, b.] 


Consultus. Nay, sir, not so, withoutten delay, 

The cause of my callyng is of that 1 boy bold?, 
ffor it is saide sothely now this same day, 

That 1 he shuld dulfully be dede, 
Certayn ; 

Then may youre cares be furl cold? 

If he thus sakles be slayn. 

202 T he Coun- 
sellor tells 
him that Je- 
sus is dead. 



pilatus. ffare and softly, sir, and say not to far ; 

Sett the with sorow, then semys thou the les, 
And of the law that thou leggys be wytty and war, 

lest I greue the greatly with dyntys expres ; 
ffals f atur, in fay th I sharl slay the ! 

Thy reson vnrad I red the redres, 
Or els of thise maters loke thou nomore meH the. 



Pilate bids 
the Counsel- 
lor not to 
meddle in 
these mat- 

and exalts 
the value of 
his own ad- 

286 Towneley Plays. XXIV. The Talents. 

The Counsel- Consultus. Why shuld I not meH of those maters that 

lor upbraids T , , , , n 

Pilate, 1 naue you taghti 

Thoug ye be prynce peerles withoutt any pere, 
were not my wyse wysdom youre wyttys were in waght ; 
And that is seen expresse and playnly right here, 

And done in dede. 220 

pilatus. Why, hoy, bot has thou sayde 1 
Consultus. yee, lorde. 
Piiateiaughs pilatus. Therfor the devyH the spede, thou carle vnkyn de 
not knowing Sich felowse myght weli be on rowme ! 
kings? 1 ° y e knaw not the comon cowrs that longys to a kyng. 1 225 

The 1st primus tortor. Mahowne most myghtfuH, he mensk you 

torturer cer- * . .,-, 

tines that witA mayn, 

Slate con- m Sir pilate pereles, prynce of this prese ! 

nowXa'd? And saue y ou ) s ^ r > syttand semely suffrayn ! 

we haue soght to thy sayH no sayng to sessej 229 

Bot certyfie sone ; 
ye wote that ye demyd this day apon desse, 

we dowte not his doyng, for now is he done. 232 

Pilate is glad pilatus. je ar welcom, Iwys, ye ar worthy ay war ; 
but bids Be it fon so of that fatur, in fayth then am I fayne. 

[Foi. 95, a.] Secimdus tortor. we haue markyd that mytyng, nomore 
them keep shall he mar; 

we prayed you, sir pilate, to put hym to payn, 236 

And we thoght it weli wroght. 
pilatus. lefe syrs, let be youre laytt and loke that ye layn ; 
flor nothyng that may be nevyn ye it noght. 239 

The 3rd Tevcius tortor. Make myrtn of that mytyng full mekyH 

torturer asks 

if Pilate we may, 

clothes. And haue lykyng of oure lyfe for los of that lad ; 

Bot, syr pilate peerles, a poynt I the pray ; 

hope ye with hethyng that harnes he had ■ 243 

1 % assonance to " vnkyn de." 

Towncky Plays. XXIV. The Talents. 287 

To hold that was hys 1 Pilate at 

pi , ,i i it once claims 

PilatUs. That appontys vnto mo, maia ! art thoa mad I them. 
I ment that no mytyng shuld' meH hym of this. 246 

primus tortov. Mefe the not, master, more if he meH, The 1st 

■*■ torturer ob- 

ffor thou shall parte from that pelfe, thar thou not pleyte. jects, 

n ii J! n and Pilate 

jpilatus. yit styrt not farer for noght that 1 ye ieri ; then asks 

I aske this gowne of youre gyfte, it is not so greatt, 250 as a gift. 
And yit may it agayn you. 
Secxmdus tortov. how, aH in fageyng % in fayth" I know of 

youre featte, 
ffor it fallys to vs four fyrst wiH I frayn you. 253 

pilatns. And I myster to no maner of mans bot myn. The 3rd 

Tevcius tortor. yee, lord, let shere it in shredys. proposes to 

joilatus. Xow that hald I good skyH ! take thou this, & pTeces! nt0 

thou that, 
& this shaH be thyne, 257 

And by lefe and by law this may leyfe styH. 

primus tortov. lordyng ! I weyn it is wrang, The<fcortur- 

To tymely I toke it, to take it the vntytt contented 

The farest 1 , and the fowllest thy felowse to fang. 261 shares. 
pilatvLS. And thou art payed of thi parte fuH truly I trowe. 
primus tortoi. It is shame forto se, I am shapyn bot 
a shrede. 
Secxmdus tortor. The hole of this harnes is holdyn to you, 
And I am leuerd a lap is lyke to no lede, 265 

fFor-tatyrd and tome. • 

Tevcius tortov. By myghty mahowne that mylde is of 

mode, 1 
If he skap with this cote it were a great skorne. 268 

pilatus. Now sen ye teyn so at this, take it to you [Foi. 95, b.] 

with aH the mawgre of myn and myght of mahowne ! piiate gives 
pri?wus tortor. Drede you not doutles, for so WiH we dow ; them°todi- 
Grefe you not greatly ye gett not this gowne, 
1 The ryme needs "mede." 


The 2nd 
asks for a 

Towneky Plays. XXIV. The Talents. 

bot in fower 1 as it fallys. 273 

Secimdus tortor. had I a fawchon, then craftely to cutt it- 
were I bowne. 2 
Tercius tortor. lo it here that thou callys ! 275 

He cannot 
find a seam 
along which 
to cut it. 
Pilate bids 
them leave 
it whole. 


It is sharp with to shere, shere if thou may. 

Secimdus tor to?. Euen in the my d ward to marke were 

mastre to me. 277 

primus tortor. Most semely is in certan the seym to assay. 

Secundus tortoi. I haue soght aH this syde and none 

can I se, 279 

of greatt nor of small. 

pilatus. Bewshers, abyd you, I byd you let be ! 

I. commaunde not to cutt it, bot hold* it hole all. 282 

The 1st 

and Pilate 

primus tortor. Now ar we bon, for ye bad, withhald on 
youre hud. 
pilatus. we ! harlott?/s ! go hang you, for hole shall it be. 
Tercius tortor. Grefe you not greatly, he saide it for gnd. 
pilatus. wyst I that he spake it in spytyng of me 286 
Tytt shuld I spede forto spyH hym. 
Secundus tortor. That were hym loth, lord, by my lewte, 

ffor-thi grauntt hym youre grace. 
pilatus. No greuans I wiU hym. 290 


They make primus tortor. Gramercy thi gudnes ! 
pilatus. yee, bot greue me nomo 3 ; 
ffuH dere beys it* boght 

In fayth, if ye do. 294 

and agree to primus tortor. ShaH I then saue it 1 
draw lots. pilaffs, yee, so saide I, or to draw cutt is the lelyst, 

and long cut, lo, this wede shaft: wyn. 297 

Tercius tortor. Sir, to youre sayng yit assent we vnto ; 
' Bot oone assay, let se who shall begyn. 299 

1 MS. iiij. 2 MS. there were I bowne craftely to cut it. 

3 MS. nomore. 

Towneley Plays. XXIV. The Talents. 280 

pilatus. we ! me falles all the fyrst, and forther shaH ye. 
Secundus tortov. Nay, drede you not doutles, for that 
do ye not ; 
O, he sekys as he wold* dyssaue vs now we se. 302 

Tevcius tortov. Bewshers, abyde you, heder haue I brogfrt The third 

' J J ' & torturer has 

thre dyse vs emang. brought 

thrG6 dies 

primus tortov. That is a gam aH the best, bi hym that me 

ffor at the dysyng he dos vs no wrang. 306 

pilatus. And I am glad of that gam ; On assay, Who [Foi. 96, a.] 

shall begyn? gjigyg* 

primus tortor. ffyrst shaH ye, and sen after we aH. torturer are 

haue the dyse and haue done, cide by 

J them. 

and lefe aH youre dyn, 310 

ffor who so has most* this frog shaH he faH, 
And best of the bonys. 

pilatus. I assent to youre sayng ; assay now I shaH, 
As I wold? at a wap wyn aH at ones. 314 

(48) [Pilate throws.] 
Secundus tortov. A, ha ! how now ! here ar a hepe. 

pilatus. haue mynde then emang you how many ther ar. Pilate 
Tevcius tortov. thretteen 1 ar on thre, thar ye not threpe. teen, and 

pilatus. Then shaH I wyn or aH men be war. 318 wiiiwin. The 

primus tortov. Truly lord, right so ye shaH ; tries his 

Bot grefe you not 1 greatly, the next shaH be nar 
If I haue hap to my hand, haue here for aH ! 321 

(49) [He throws.] 
pilatus. And I haue sene as greatt a freke of his forward an d throws 

fnlvrl only eight, 

iai J a - at which he 

here ar bot Aght 2 turnyd vp at ones. Sf s the 

primus tortov. Aght? a, his armes, that is yH ! what so 
me alyd, 
I was falsly begylyd with thise byched bones ; 

Ther cursyd thay be ! 326 

/Secundus tortov. WeH I wote this wede bees won in thise 

I wold? be fayn of this frog myght it faH vnto me. 328 
1 MS. xiij. 2 MS. viij. 


290 Towneley Plays, XXIV. The Talents. 

pilatus. It 1 bees in waght, in fayth, and? thou wyn. 
The second Secrnidus tortov. No, bot war you away ! [He throws.] 
throws Tercius tortoi. here is baddysf aboue, by mahownes bonys ! 

seuen 1 is bot the seconde, the sothe for to say. 332 

Secundvis tortov. we, fy! that is shortt. 
The third Texcius tortoT. Do shott at thi hud! now fallys me 

prepares to 

cast the fyrst, 

And I haue hap to this gowne, go now on gud ; 

The byched bones that ye be I byd you go bett ; 336 

(52) [He throivs.] 

and throws ffelowse, in forward here haue I f ef teen 2 ! 

fifteen. ' 

As ye wote I am worthi, won is this wede. 
Pilate is pilatus. what, whistyU ye in the wenyande ! where haue 


ye beyn 1 ? 
Thou shall abak, bewshere, that blast I forbede. 340 
[Foi. 96, b.] Teicius tortor. here ar men vs emang, 
lele in oure lay, wiH ly for no leyd, 
And T wytnes at thaym if I wroght 1 any wrang. 343 

The first tor- primus tortoi. Thou wroght no dyssaytt, for sothe, that 

turer says 

the third has we saw, 

fairly, but™ ffor-thi thou art worthi, and won is this weyd At thyn 

Pilate is still vi 

discon- awne wyir. 

pilatxxs. yee, bot me pays not that playng to puf nor to 

blaw ; 
If he haue right I ne rek or reson thertyH, 347 

I refe it hym noght. 
Tevcius tortoi. haue gud day, sir, and grefe you not yH, 
ffor if it were duble full dere is if boght. 350 

He asks for pilatus. Sir, sen thou has won this weyd, say wiH thou 
favou^an^ vowche safe 

wh e e S nit if s Of thi great gudnes this garment 1 on me ? 

Texcius tortov. Sir, I say you certan this shaH ye not haue. 
jpilatus. Thou shaH forthynk it, in fayth ; 3 
ffy, what thou art fre ! 355 

1 MS. vij. 2 MS. xv. 3 ? assonance to 'have.' 

Towneley Plays. XXIV. The Talents. 291 

vnbychid, vnbayn ! 
Tercius tortor. ffor ye thrett me so throle, The third 

...,., torturer 

were it sicn tnre gives up the 

, T .j. ., . - coat and is 

here I gif you this gud. thanked. 

pilatus. Now, gramercy agayn ! 360 

MekiH thank and myn and this shalbe ment. The first 

primus tortov. Bot I had not left it so lightly, had play have given 

., t , it up so 

me it lent. lightly, but 

pilatus. No, bot he is faythfuH and fre, and that shall be nises P1 


in viib y amends for 

And more if I may, 364 ]t ' 

If he myster to me, 

amend hym I mon. 
Teicius tortor. I vowcfre safe it be so, the sothe forto say. 

primus tortov. Now thise dyse that ar vndaghty / for los The first 

n , ■> . -i torturer for- 

01 this gOOd, swears the 

here I forswere hertely / by mahownes blood ; andfcWSi 

ffor was I neuer so happy / by mayn nor by mode, cTScYrs.^ 6 

To wyn with sich sotelty / to my Ijiys fode, 

As ye ken; 372 

Thise dysars and thise hullars, 
Thise cokkers and thise bollars, 
And all purs-cuttars, 

Bese well war of thise men. 376 

Secxmdxis tortor. ffy, fy, on thise dyse / the deviH I theym The second 

4._i_„ i commits the 

taKe - dice to the 

vnwytty, vnwyse / With thaym that Wold lake ; [Foi. 97, a. 

As fortune assyse / men wyH she make ; lg ' 

hir maners ar nyse / she can downe and vptake ; devil. For- 

. , - oon tune delights 

And rycn 381 to set men 

o,, , up and cast 

She turnes vp-so-downe, them down. 

And vnder abone, 
Most 1 chefe of renowne 

She castas in the dyche. 385 

By hir meanes she makys / dysers to seH, dicers Sif 

As thay sytt and lakys / thare come and thare cateH ; catSa nd 


Townehy Plays. XXIV. The Talents. 

Then they 
cry out and 
want to 

The third 
traces loss 
and oft- 
times man- 
slaughter to 
dicing. Let 
them leave 
such vanity 
and serve 

praises the 
and dis- 
misses them 
with a 



Then cry thay and crakkys / bowne vnto bateH, 
his hyppys then bak^/s / no symnerl 

ffor hote. 
Bot fare weH, thryf te ! 
Is ther none other skyfte 
Bot syfte, lady, syfte 1 

Thise dysars thay dote. 

Teicius totiot. what co??imys of dysyng / I pray you hark 

Bot los of good? in lakyng / and oft tymes mens slaghter ! 
Thus sorow is at partyng / at metyng if ther be laghter ; 
I red leyf sich vayn thyng / and serue god herafter, 

ffor heuens blys ; 399 

That lord? is most myghty, 
And gentyllyst of Iury, 
we helde to hym holy ; 

how thynk ye by this 1 403 

pilatus. weli worth you all thre, most doughty in dede ! 
Of all the clevkys that I knaw, most conyng ye be, 
By soteltes of youre sawes, youre lawes forto lede ; 
I graunt you playn powere and frenship frele, 

I say; 
1 Dew vows [garde], mon senyours ! 
Mahowne most myghty in castels and towres 
he kepe you, loidjugys, and art youres, 

And hauys aH gud day. 

Explicit pwcessus talentorxxm. 



1 i. e. Dieu vous [garde], monseigneurs ! 

2'owneley Plays. XXV. The Deliverance of Souls. 293 

Incipit extracczo Mtimaxum, &c. 

[29 eight-line stanzas abababab ; 1 six-line (no 18) aab aba ; 40 
four-line abab ; 4 couplets.] 

{Dramatis Personae. 



Johannes Baptista. 







iTtesus. (1) 

"y fader me from "blys has send 

Till erth for mankynde sake, 
Adam mys forto amend, 
My deth nede must I take. 

(2) , 
I dwellyd ther thryrty yeres and two, 

And somdele more, the sothe to say ; 
In anger, pyne, and mekyH wo, 

I dyde on cros this day. 

Therfor tiH hell now WiH I go, 

To chalange that is myne ; 
Adam, eue, and othere mo, 

Thay shaH no longer dweH in pyne. 


The feynde theym wan "With trayn a 
Thrugh fraude of earthly fode, 

I haue theym boght agan 
With shedyng of my blode. 

And now I wiH that stede restore, 

which" the feynde f eH fro for syn ; 
Som tokyn wiH I send before, 

with myrth to gar thare gammes begyn. 

A light 1 1 wiH thay haue 

To know I wiH com sone ; 
My body shaH abyde in graue 

TiH aH this dede be done. 



counts how 
He has 
"been born, 
and died for 
man's salva- 

He mustnow 
rescue His 
own from 

He will send 
thither a 
1 light as a 
token of His 



294 Towneley Plays. XXV. The Deliverance of Souls. 

Adam calls Adam. My brether, herkyn vnto me here ! 

his brethren _ .. .. ,.-1-1,1 ■, ■, 

to listen : he More nope oi helth neuer we had ; 

S66S tokens 

of solace. Fower thowsand 1 and sex hundreth 2 yere 

haue we bene here in darknes stad ; 28 

Now se I tokyns of solace sere, 
A gloryous gleme to make vs glad, 

Wher thrugfi I hope that help is nere, 

That sone shaH slake oure sorowes sad. 32 

Eve, too, Eua. Adam, my husband heynd, 
light as a This menys solace certan ; 

Sich light can on vs leynd 

In paradyse fuH playn. 36 

Isaiah re- Isaias. Adam, thrugh thi syn 

calls Adam's ' ° J 

first sin, here were we put to dwell, 

This wykyd place within ; 

The name of it is hell ; 40 

here paynes shaH neue?* blyn, 

That wykyd ar and fell, 
loue that lord with wyn, 

his lyfe for vs wold sell. 44 

Et cantent omnes "saluator mundi," pwnum versum. 

and his own Adam, thou well vnderstand 
the hght y ° I am Isaias, so crist me kende. 
coLVSem I spake of folke in darknes walkand, 
indarSes?. I saide a Hght shuld* on theym lende ; 48 

[Foi. 98, a. This light is all from crist commancle 
lg * ' That 1 he till vs has hedir sende, 

Thus is my poynt proved in hand', 

as I before to fold' it kende. 52 


Simeon*. So may I tett of farlys feyH, 

ffor in the tempyH his fiejndys me fande, 

Me thoght daynteth" with hym to deyH, 

I halsid hym homely with my hand ; 56 

1 MS. iiij M 1 . 2 MS. vi C. 

Toivneley Plays. XXV. The Deliverance of Souls. 295 

I saide, lord, let thi seruand?/s leyH 
pas in peasse to lyf lastande ; 

Now that myn eeyn has sene thyn hele 
no longer lyst I lyf in lande. 

This light thou has purvayde 

ffor theym that lyf in lede ; 
That 1 1 before of the haue saide 

I se it is fulfillyd in dede. 


Simeon re- 
Christ's pre- 
sentation in 
the Temple 
and his own 

He now sees 
the light 
which he 
then fore- 


Iohsumes baptists,. As a voce cryand I kend 

The wayes of crist, as I weft can ; 
I baptisid hym with both myn hende 

in the water of flume Iordan ; 
The holy gost from heuen discende 

As a white dowfe downe on me than ; 
The fader voyce, oure myrthes to amende, 

Was made to me lyke as a man ; 

" yond is my son," he saide, 

"and which me pleasses fuli welt," 
his light is on vs layde, 

and commys oure karys to kele. 

Moyses. Now this same nyghtt lernyng haue I, 

to me, moyses, he shewid his myght, 
And also to anothere oone, hely, 

where we stud on a hiH: on hyght ; 
As whyte as snaw was his body, 

his face was like the son for bright 1 , 
Noman on mold? was so myghty 

grathly durst loke agans that light* ; 

And that same light here se I now 

shynyng on vs, certayn, 
where thrugh truly I trow 

that we shall sone pas fro this payn. 




John the 
Baptist re- 
calls the 
Baptism of 
Christ and 
the voice 

light come? 
to assuage 
their cares. 

Moses re- 
calls the 
tion and the 
light there 
80 shown. 


That same 
light he see 


296 Towneley Plays. XXV. The Deliverance of Souls. 

Rybald is 
full of fore- 
boding that 
the souls 
will escape. 

He bids 
bind them. 

They are 
crying on 
Christ and 
say He will 
save them. 


RybaM. Sen fyrst that heH was mayde / And I was put 

Sich sorow neuer ere I had* / nor hard I sich a dyn ; 
My hart hegynnys to brade / my wytt waxys thyn, 

I drede we can not be glad / thise saules mon fro vs twyn. 


how, belsabub ! bynde thise boys, 1 / sich harow was neuer 

hard in heH. 
Belzabub. Out*, rybaldU thou rores, / what is betyd? can 

thou oght teH ? 
Rybald. whi, herys thou not this vgly noyse % 2 

thise lurdans that in lymbo dweH 2 
Thay make menyng of many Ioyse, 3 

and Muster myrthes theym emeH. 3 98 

Belzabub. Myrth ? nay, nay ! that poynt is past, 

more hope of helth shall thay neuer haue. 
RybaM. They cry on crist full fast, 

And says he shall theym saue. 



[Foi. 98, b.] Beelzabub. yee, though he do not, I shaH, 

ffor they ar sparyd in specyaH space ; 
whils I am prynce and pryncypaH 

they shaH neuer pas out of this place. 
CaH vp astarot and anabaH 

To gyf vs counsel* in this case ; 
Belt, berith, and bellyaH, 

To mar theym that sich mastry mase. 

bids him 
call up 
and other 



and tell 
Satan, and 
bid him 

Jesus calls 
for the gates 
to be raised. 


Say to sir satan oure syre, 

and byd hym bryng also 
Sir lucyfer, lufly of lyre. 

Rybaldl. AH redy lord* I go. 114 

JT/iesus. Attollite portas, principes, vesfras & eleuamini 
porte eternales, & mtroibit rex glorie. 

1 Originally ' ' oure bowys " (and probably "bende"). 

2 & 3 These and following lines are single lines with central 


Towncley Plays. XXV. The Deliverance of Souls. 297 

RybaM. Out, harro, out ! what deviH is he 

That callys hym kyng ouer vs aH ? 
hark belzabub, com ne, 

ffor hedusly I hard hym call. 
Belzabub. Go, spar the yates, yH mot thou the ! 

And? set the waches on the waH ; 
If that brodeH com ne 

"With vs ay won he shall ; 



Rybald cries 
to Beelze- 
bub, who 
bids him 
lock the 
gates and set 


And if he more caH or cry, 
To make vs more debate, 

lay on hym hardely, 

And make hym go his gate. 


and to fall 
upon Jesus 
if He calls 

Dauid. Nay, with hym may ye not fyght, 

ffor he is king and conqueroure, 
And of so mekiH myght, 

And styf in euery stoure ; 
Of hym commys aH this light 

that shynys in this bowre ; 
he is fuH fers in fight, 

worthi to wyn honoure. 



David warns 
him that 
they may 
not fight 
with Jesus, 
Who is King 
and Con- 

Belzabub. honowre ! harsto, harlot, for what dede ] 

Alle erthly men to me ar thrall ; 
That lad that thou callys lord* in lede 

he had neuer harbor, house, ne haH. 


claims all 
earthly men 
as his thralls. 

how, sir sathanas ! com nar 

And hark this cursid rowte ! 
Sathanas. The deviH you aH to-har ! 

"What 1 ales the so to showte ] 
And me, if I com nar, 

thy brayn bot I bryst owte ! 
Belzabub. Thou must com help to spar, 

we ar beseged* abowte. 


He calls 
Satan, who 
asks what is 
the matter. 

says they are 
147 besieged. 

.298 Tovmeley Plays. XXV. The Deliverance of Souls. 

Satan bids 
them see 
that Jesus 
does not 

(27) _ 
Sathanas. Besegyd aboute ! whi, who durst be so bold! 

for drede to make on vs a fray 1 
Belzahube. It is the lew that Iudas sold* 

ffor to be dede this othere day. 151 

Sathanas. how ! in tyme that tale was told, 

that trature trauesses vs aH-way ; 
he shalbe here fuH hard in hold, 

bot loke he pas not, I the pray. 155 

says Jesus 
has far other 

Satan defies 

[Fol. 99, a. 
Sig. P. 3.] 
He coun- 
selled the 
Jews to kill 

Belzdbub. Pas ! nay, nay, he wiH not weynde 

ffrom hens or it be war ; 
he shapys hym for to sheynd 

AH her! or he go far. 


Sathanas. ny, faturs ! therof shall he fayH, 

ffor ali his fare I hym defy ; 
I know his trantes fro top to tayH, 

he lyrics by g&wdys and glory. 
Therby he broght furth of oure bayH 

The lath lazare of betany, 
Bot to the lues I gaf counsayH 

That thay shuld cause hym dy ; 




and per- 
Judas to 
carry out 
the agree- 


I enterd ther into Iudas, 
that forward to fulfyH, 

Therfor his hyere he has, 
AH wayes to won here styll. 



Rybaid asks RybaM. Sir sathan, sen we here the say 

Satan, as ■%,-,•* , 

this is his thou and the lues were at assent, 

hope's' to And wote he wan the lazare away 
Jesus ? that vnto vs was taken to tent, 

hopys thou that thou mar hym may 

to Muste?* the malyce that he has ment 1 
ffor and he refe vs now oure pray 
we wiH ye witt or he is went. 



Towneley Plays. XXV. The Deliverance of Souls. 299 

Sathanas. I byd the noght abaste, Satan en- 

bot boldly make you bowne, him. ° 

With toyles that ye intraste, 

And dyng that dastard downe. 183 

Ihesus. Attollifce portas, principes, xestras, &c. Jesus calls 

Rybaid. Outt, harro ! what harlot is he 
that sayes his kyngdom shalbe cryde 1 
dauid. That may thou in sawter se, David re- 

" calls his pro- 

for of this prynce thus ere I saide ; 188 phecyof 

I saide that he shuld? breke Christ's 

youre barres and bandys by name, 
And of youre wark^/s take wreke ; 

now shall thou se the same. 192 

iT&esus. ye prynces of heH open youre yate, Jesus sum- 

And let my folk furth gone ; to open the 

A prynce of peasse shall enter therat 

wheder ye wiH or none. 196 


Rybal&. What art thou that spekys so 1 Rybaid and 

,, . , _ , _ , r , .\ .. Beelzebub 

Ihesus. A kyng of blys that night mesus. defy mm. 

Rybal&. yee, hens fast I red thou go, 

And meH the not with vs. 200 

Belzabub. Oure yates I trow wiH last, 

thay ar so strong I weyn ; 
Bot if oure barres brast, 

ffor the they shall not twyn. 204 

Ihesus. This stede shall stand' no longer stokyn ; Jesus bursts 

-., t , -n the bars to 

open vp, and let my pepiH pas. the dismay 

RybaM. Out, harro ! oure bayH is brokyn, of Rybaid. 

and brusten ar all oure band^s of bras ! 208 

300 Towneley Plays. XXV. The Deliverance of Souls. 


Satan re- 
proaches the 
devils for 
not over- 

[Fol. 99, b.] 

and calls for 
his own 

He chal- 
lenges Je! 

Who an- 
nounces His 
mission to 
save the 

Belzabub. harro ! oure yates begyn to crak ! 

In sonder, I trow, they go, 
And heH:, I trow, wiH alt to-shak ; 

Alas, what I am wo ! 212 

RybaM. lymbo is lorne, alas ! 

sir sathanas com vp ; 
This wark is wars then it was. 

Sathanas. yee, hangyd he thou on a cruke 1 ! 216 

Thefys, I bad ye shuld* be bowne, 

If he maide mastres more, 
To dyng that dastard? downe, 

sett hym both sad and sore. 220 

Belzabub. To sett hym sore, that is sone saide ! 

com thou thi self and seme hym so ; 
we may not abyde his bytter brayde, 

he wold vs mar and we were mo. 224 

Sathanas. ffy, f ature ! wherfor were ye flayd ? 

haue ye no force to flyt hym fro ? 
loke in haste my gere be grayd, 

my self shaft to that gadlyng go. 228 

how ! thou belamy, abyde, 

with aH: thi boste and beyr ! 
And tett me in this tyde 

what mastres thou m&kys here. 232 


Ihesus. I make no mastry bot for myne ; 

I wiH theym saue, that 1 shall the sow ; 
Thou has no powere theym to pyne, 

bot 1 in my pryson for thare prow 236 

here haue they soriornyd, noght as thyne, 

bot in thi wayrd, thou wote as how. 
Sathanas. why, where has thou bene ay syn, 

that neuer wold negh theym nere or now? 240 

1 assonance with e up. ' 

Towneley Plays. XXV. The Deliverance of Souls. 301 

I^esus. Now is the tyme certan The ordained 

My fader ordand her for, come. &S 

That thay shuld* pas fro payn, 

In blys to dwell for euermore. 244 


Sathanas. Thy fader knew I well by syght, Satan asks 

how the son 

he was a wright, his meett to wyn; of Joseph 

Mary, me mynnys, thi moder hight, so mighty? 

. the vtmast ende of all thy kyn ; 248 
Say who made the so mekiH of myght 1 

Jfeesus. Thou wykyd feynde, lett he thi dy[n] ! Jesus re- 

„ , , ,' . , . veals that 

my fader wonnes in heuen on night, He is God's 

In blys that neuer more shall blyn ; 252 

I am his oonly son, / his f orward? to fulfyH, 
Togeder wiH we won, / In sonder when we wyfr. 254 

Sathan\ Goddys son ! nay, then myght thou be glad, 

for no cateH thurt the craue ; 
Bot thou has lyffyd ay lyke a lad, 

In sorow, and as a sympiH knaue. 258 

Ihesus. That 1 was for the hartly luf I had He has con- 

Vnto mans sauH, it forto saue, Godhead to 

And forto make the masyd and mad', soIis^nd' S 

And for that reson rufully to rafe. 262 gjg 

My godhede here I hyd 

In mary, moder myne, 
where it shall neuer be kyd 

to the ne none of thyne. 266 

Sathan). how now 1 this wold I were told? in towne ; 

thou says god is thi syre ; 
I shall the prove by good reson 

thou mojttys as man dos into myre. 270 

302 Towneley Plays. XXV. The Deliverance of Souls. 

Satan claims To breke thi byddyng they were furl bowne, 

the souls as . . . , , , , , 

And soyn they wroght at my desyre ; 


[Fol. 100, a. 
Sig. P. 4.] 

Jesus re- 
minds him 
of the pro- 
phecies of 
His coming. 

Satan quotes 
and Job to 
show that 
once in hell 
there is no 

ffrom paradise thou putt theym downe, 
In heH here to haue thare hyre ; 

And thou thy self, by day and nyght, 

taght euer aH men emang, 
Euer to do reson and right, 

And here thou wyrkys aH wrang. 

Ihesus. I wyrk no wrang, that 1 shall thou wytt, 

if I my men fro wo wiH wyn ; 
My propheta/s playnly prechyd if, 

AH the noytys that I begyn ; 
They saide that I shuld be that ilke a 

In heH where I shuld intre in, 
To saue my seruand?/s fro that pytt 

where dampnyd saullys shaH syt for syn. 

And ilke true prophete tayH 

shalbe fulfillid^ in me ; 
I haue thaym boght fro bayU, 

in blis now shall they be. 


Sathanas. Now sen thou lyst to legge the lawes, 

thou shalbe tenyd or we twyn, 
ffor those that thou to witnes drawes 

ff uH euen agans the shaft begyn ; 
As salamon saide in his sawes, 

who that ones commys heH within 
he shall neuer owte, as clevkys knawes, 

therfor, belamy, let be thy dyn. 
lob thi seruande also 

In his tyme can tell 
That nawder freynde nor fo 

shall fynde relese in heH. 








1 assonance with ' it. 

Towneley Plays. XXV. The Deliverance of Souls. 303 

Ihesus. he sayde fuH soyth, that shaH thou se, 

In heft shalbe no relese, 
Bot of that place then ment he 

where synfuH care shaH euer encrese. 306 

In that bayH ay shaH thou be, 

where sorowes seyr shaH neuer sesse, 
And my f olke that were most fre 

shaH pas vnto the place of peasse ; 310 

ffor they were here with my wiH, 

And so thay shaH furtn - weynde ; 
Thou shaH thiself fulfyH 

euer wo withoutten ende. 314 

Sathan\ Whi, and wiH thou take theym all me fro ? 

then thynk me thou art vnkynde ; 
Nay, I pray the do not so ; 

Vmthynke the better in thy mynde ; 318 

Or els let me with the go, 

I pray the leyffe me not behynde ! 
77iesus. Nay, tratur, thou shaH won in wo, 

and tiH a stake I shaH the bynde. 322 

Sathan\ Now here I how thou menys emang, 

with mesure and malyce forto meH ; 
Eot sen thou says it shalbe lang, 

yit som let atr-wayes with vs dwell. 326 

Ihesus. Yis, wytft thou weH, els were greatt 1 wrang ; 

thou shaH haue caym that slo abeH, 
And arr that hastes theym self to hang, 

As dyd Iudas and architopheH ; 330 

And daton and abaron / and aH of thare assent, 
Cursyd tyrantt?/s euer ilkon / that me and myn tormente. 

And aH that wiH not lere my law, 

That I haue left in land* for new, 
That m.akys my commyng knaw, 

And aH my sacramenta/s persew ; 336 

Jesus an- 
swers that 
there is no 
release from 
the eternal 
hell in which 
the devil 
shall be 
kept, but 
these souls 
shall depart 
to bliss. 

that they 
may be left, 
or that he, 
too, may go. 

Jesus says he 
shall keep 
some souls, 
such as Cain 
and Judas, 

and all who 
will not learn 
His law. 

304 Towneley Plays. XXV. The Deliverance of Souls. 

[Fol. 100, b.] 

He will 
judge these 
worse than 
the Jews. 

Satan is 
pleased with 
the bargain. 

He will go 
east and 
west and 
make men 
sin. Jesus 
tells him he 
shall be fast 

Satan sinks 
into hell, 
Rybald re- 
viling him. 

Jesus sum- 
mons forth 
His chil- 

Adam gives 

My deth, my rysyng, red by raw, 

"Who trow thaym not thay ar vntrewe ; 
vnto my dome I shall theym draw, 

And luge theym wars then any lew. 340 

(63) ' 
And thay that lyst to lere / my law, and lyf therby, 
ShaH neuer haue harmes here, / bot welth as is worthy. 342 

Sathanas. Now here my hand, I hold* me payde, 

thise poynto/s ar playnly for my prow ; 
If this be trew that thou has saide, 

we ShaH haue mo then we haue now ; 
Thies lawes that thou has late here laide, 

I shaH theym lere not to alow ; 
If thay myn take thay ar betraide, 

and I shaH turne theym tytt I trow. 
I shaH walk eest, I shaH walk west, 

and gar theym wyrk weH war. 
iftesus. Nay feynde, thou shalbe feste, 

that thou shaH flyt no far. 354 

Sathan\ ffeste] fy ! that were a wykyd treson ! 

belamy, thou shalbe smytt. 
Ihesus. DeviH, I commaunde the to go downe 



into thi sete where thou shaH syt. 
Sathan\ Alas, for doyH and care ! 

I synk into hett pytt ! 
Rybald:. Sir sathanas, so saide I are, 

now shaH thou haue a fytt. 
7/iesus. Com now furth, my ehilder aH, 

I forgyf you youre mys ; 
With me now go ye shaH 

to Ioy and endles blys. 

Adam, lord, thou art fuH mekyH of myght, 

that mekys thiself on this manere, 
To help vs aH as thou had vs hight, 

when both forfett I and my fere ; 





TovMcley Plays. XXV. The Deliverance of Souls. 305 

here haue we dwelt 1 withoutten light 

Fower thousand 1 and sex 2 hundreth yere ; 
Now se we by this solempne sight 1 

how that thi mercy m&kys vs dere. 374 

Eua. lord, we were worthy / more tornament^/s to tast ; 
Thou help vs lord with thy mercy / as thou of myght is mast. 

Iohannes. lord, I loue the inwardly, 

that me wold' make thi messyngere, 
Thi commyng in erth to cry, 

and tech thi fayth to folk in fere ; 380 

Sythen before the forto dy, 

to bryng theym bodword that be here, 
how thay shuld haue thi help in hy, 

now se I aH those poynt?/s appere. 384 

Moyses. Dauid, thi prophete trew, 

oft tymes told* vnto vs, 
Of thi commyng he knew, 

and saide it shuld? be thus. 388 

Dauid. As I saide ere yit say I so, 

11 ne derelinquas, domine, 
Anim&m meam in inferno ; " 

"leyfe neuer my saull, lord, after the, 392 

In depe heH wheder dampned* shall go ; 

suffre thou neuer thi sajntys to se 
The sorow of thaym that won in wo, 

ay fuH of fylth, and may not 1 fle." 396 

Moyses. Make myrth both more and les, 

and loue oure lord we may, 
That has broght vs fro bytternes 

In blys to abyde for ay. 400 

ysaias. Therf or now let vs syng 

to loue oure lord ihesus ; 
Vnto his blys he wiH vs bryng, 

Te deum laudamus. 404 

Explicit extraccio animarum ah inferno. 


This sight 
comes to 
them after 
4600 years of 

i MS. iiij Ml. 
2 MS. vj. 

Eve con- 
fesses they 
more punish- 

The Baptist 
gives thanks 
to Christ for 
having made 
him His 

Moses re- 
calls the 
of David, 

who repeats 
his prayer 
that his soul 
be not left 
in hell. 


Moses and 
Isaiah unite 
in exhorta- 
tion to love 

306 Toivneley Plays. XX VI. The Besurrection of the Lord. 


Resurreccfo domtni. 

Pilate calls 
for silence 

on pain of 

He is Pilate, 
who has 


Let watch 
be kept if 
any follow 
His words. 

Primus Miles. 

[Dramatis Personae. 

Secundus Miles. 
Tercius Miles. 
Quartus Miles. 
Angeli, Primus & 


Maria Magdalene. 

Maria Jacobi. 


[1 eleven-line stanza, no. 11, aaab ab acb cb ; 1 nine-line, no. 101 ab 
abbbc be ; 4 eight-line, no. 7 aaab cccb, nos. 95, 99, 100 aab aab 
cc ; 93 six-line stanzas, nos. 51-3 aaab cb, no. 73 ababec, no. 
96 aab aab, the rest aaab ab ; 1 three-line, no. 97 aab ; 1 couplet, 
no. 24.] 

pilatus. (1) 

PEasse, I warne you, woldys in wytt 1 ! 
And stances on syde or els go sytt 1 , 
ffor here ar men that 1 go not yit 1 , 
And lordys of nie[kiH] myght ; 4 

"We thynk to abyde, and not to flyttt, 
I tell you euery wyghfr. 6 

Spare youre spech, ye brodels bold, 
And sesse youre cry till I haue told? 
What that my worship wold, 

here in thise wonys ; 
whoso that 1 wyghtly nold 

ffull hy bese hanged his bonys. 


wote ye not that I am pilate, 
That 1 satt 1 apon the Iustyce late, 
At caluarie where I was att 

This day at 1 morne % 
I am he, that 1 great 1 state, 

That lad has aH to-torne. 

Now sen that lothly loseH is thus ded, 
I haue great 1 ioy in my manhede, 
Therfor wold I in ilk sted 

It 1 were tayn hede, 22 

If any felowse felow his red, , 

Or more his law wold lede. 24 



Towneley Plays. XXVI. Tlie Resurrection of the Lord. 307 

ffor and I knew it 1 , cruelly 
his lyfe bees lost, and that shortly, 
that he were better hyng ful hy 

On galow tre ; 28 

Therfor ye prelates shuld aspy 

If any sich be. 30 


As I am man of myght?/s most, 

If ther be any that blow sich bost, 
with tormentys keyn bese he indost 

ffor euermore ; 34 

The deviH to heft shaH harry hys goost, 

Bot I say nomore. 36 

Caiplias. Sir, ye thar nothyng be dredand, 
ffor centurio, I vnderstand, 
youre knyght is left abydand 

Eight 1 ther behynde ; 40 

We left hyni ther, for man most wyse, 
If any rybaldt/s wold oght ryse, 
To sesse theym to the next assyse, 

And then forto make ende. 44 

Tunc veniet centurio velut miles equit&ns. 

Centurio. A, blyssyd lord adonay, 1 

what may this nierueH sygnyfy 

That here was shewyd so openly 

vnto oure sight, 48 

When the rightwys man can dy 

that 1 ihesus hight 1 1 50 

heuen it shoke abone, 

Of shynyng blan both son and moyne, 

And dede men also rose vp sone, 

Outt of thare grafe ; 54 

And stones in waH anone 

In sonde?- brast and clafe. 56 

1 This stanza is written as three lines in the MS, with central 

[Fol. 101, b.] 

If they do 
Pilate will 
kill them, 

and the 
devil harry 
their ghost 
to hell. 

says the Cen- 
turion has 
been left 
behind to 

The Cen- 
turion pon- 
ders on the 
signs that 
the death of 

308 Toioneley Plays. XXVI. The Resurrection of the Lord. 

The princes 
were wrong, 
and Jesus 
was indeed 
the Son of 

Birds in the 
air and fish 
in the sea 
knew that 
their Lord 
was being 
put to death. 

[Fol. 102, a.] 

He ex- - 

with Pilate, 

who asks his 

The Cen- 
turion says 
they have 
sinned in 
slaying a 

Ther was seen many a full sodan sight, 
Oure prynces, for sothe, dyd nothyng right, 
And so I saide to theym on hight, 

As it is trew, 60 

That he was most of myght, 

The son of god, ihesu. 62 


ffowlys in the ayer and iisn in floode, 
That day changid thare mode, 
when that he was rent on rode, 

That lord veray ; 66 

ffuR weH thay vnderstode 

That he was slayn that 1 day. 68 

Therfor right as I meyn / to theym fast wiH I ryde, 
To wyt withoutten weyn / what they wiH say this tyde 

Of this enfray ; 71 

I wiH no longer abyde 

bot fast ride on my way. 73 

God saue yon, syrs, on euery syde ! 
Worship and welth in warld so wyde 1 
pilatus. Centurio, welcom this tyde, 

Oure comly knyghfr ! 77 

Centurio. God graunt you grace weH forto gyde, 

And rewH you right 1 . 79 

pilatus. Centurio, welcom, draw nere hand ! 
TeH vs som tythyngt/s here emang, 
nor ye haue gone thrughoutt oure land, 

ye know ilk dele. 83 

Centurio. Sir, I drede me ye haue done wrang 

And wonder yH. 85 

Cayphas. wonder yli ? I pray the why % 
declare that to this company. 
Centurio. So shall I, sir, full securly, 

with aH my niayn : 89 

The right wys man, I meyn, hym by 

that ye haue slayn. 91 

Towneley Plays. XXVI. The Resumction of the, Lord. 309 

pilatus. Centurio, sese of sich saw : 
ye ar a greatt man of oure law, 
And if we shnld any wytnes draw, 

To vs excuse, 95 

To rnayntene vs euermore ye aw, 

And noght refuse. 97 

Centurio. To mayntene trowth is weii worthy ; 
I saide when I sagh hym dy, 
That it was god?/s son almyghty, 

That hang thore ; . 101 

So say I yit and abyd?/s therby, 

fTor euermore. 103 


Anna, yee, sir, sich resons may ye rew, 
Thou shuld not neuen sich notes new, 
Bot thou couth any tokyns trew, 

vntiH vs teft. 107 

Centurio. Sich wonderful! case neuer ere ye knew 

As then befeH. 109 

Cayphas. we pray the teH vs, of what thyng ? 
Centurio. Of elyment^/s, both old' and ying, 
In thare manere maide greatt mowrnyng, 

In ilka stede; 113 

Thay knew by contenaunce that thare kyng 

was done to dede. 115 

The son for wo it waxed aft wan. 
The moyn and starnes of shynyng blan, 
And erth it tremlyd as a man 

Began to speke ; 119 

The stone, that neuer was styrryd or than, 

In sonder brast and breke ; 121 

Pilate re- 
bukes him. 

The Cen- 
turion main- 
tains it was 
God's Son 
they cruci- 

Annas asks 
for a proof. 

The Cen- 
turion re- 
counts the 
mourning of 
the elements 
as for their 

And dede men rose vp bodely, both greatt and small. 
pilatus, Centurio, be war with aH ! 
ye wote the clerk?/s the clypp?/-? it call 

310 Towneley Plays. XX VI. The Resurrection of the Lord. 

Pilate says Sich sodan sight ; 125 

call such a That son and nioyne a seson shall 

eclipse. lak of thare light. 127 

[Foi. 102, h.] Cayphas. Sir, and if that dede men ryse vp bodely, 
The dead xhat may be done thrugh socery, 

may arise d ° " 

through Therfor nothyng we sett therby, 

sorcery. J & J ' 

that be thou bast. 131 

Centurio. Sir, that I saw truly, 

That shall I euermore trast. 133 

The Ceii- Not for that ilk warke that ye dyd wyrke, 
his eyes, and Not oonly for the son wex myrke, 
SanXn'f Bot how the vayH rofe in the kyrke, 
XT^of ffayn wyt I wold. 137 

the Temple. jpHafas. A, sich tayles fuH sone wold make vs yrke, 

if thay were told. 139 

Pilate bids harlot ! wherto co7?imys thou vs emang 

Mm oegone. ^ ^ l QSjngys vs to fang % 

Weynd f urth ! hy myght thou hang, 

Vylefatur! 143 

Cayphas. Weynd furth in the Wenyande, 

And hold styH thy clattur. 145 

Centurio. Sirs, sen ye set not by my saw, / haues now 

good day ! 
God lene you grace to knaw / the sothe aH way. 147 

Anna, with draw the fast, sen thou the dredys, 
ffor we shall weH mayntene oure de&ys. 
pilatus. Sich wonderfuH resons as now xe&ys 

were neuer beforne, 151 

Cayphas. To neuen this note nomore vs nedys, 
th°e U matS h • nawder euen nor morne, 153 

He takes his 


Bot forto be war of more were 
That afterward myght do vs dere, 
Therfor, sir, whils ye ar here 

Towncley Plays. XXVI. The Resurrection of the Lord. 311 

vs aH emam 


They must 

Avyse you of thise sawes sere 


how thay wiH stand. 



ffor iliesus saide fuH openly 

Jesus pro- 
phesied that 
He should 
rise again 

Vnto the men that yode hym by, 

A thyng that grevys aH Iury, 

the third 

And right so may, 


That he shuld* ryse vp bodely 

within the thryde day. 



If it be so, as myght I spede, 

They must 

The latter dede is more to drede 

against this. 

Then was the fyrst, if we take hede 

And tend therto ; 


Avyse you, sir, for it is nede, 

the best 1 to do. 



Anna. Sir, neuer the les if he saide so, 

[Fol. 103, a.] 

he hase no myght to ryse and go, 

thinks the 

Eot his dyscypyls steyH his cors vs fro 

■will steal the 

And bere away ; 



That were titt vs, and othere mo, 

A fowH enf ray. 



Then wold the pepyfr say euerilkon 

The tomb, 

That he were rysen hym self alon, 

should be 

Therfor ordan to kepe that stone 

watched by 

with knyghta/s heynd, 


To thise thre, 1 dayes be commen and gone 


And broght till ende. 



pilatus, Now, cevtys, sir, full weH ye say, 

And for this ilk poynt to puruay 

I shaH, if that I may ; 

he shaH not ryse, 



[Nor none shaH wyn hym thens away 


of nokyns wyse. 


1 MS. iij. 

312 Tovmeley Plays. XXVI. The Resurrection of the Lord. 

Pilate bids 
his knights 
guard the 
body of 

that no 
traitor steal 

They express 
their readi- 
ness with 


Sir knyghta/s, that ar of dedys dughty, 
And chosen for chefe of cheualry, 
As I may me in you any, 

By day and nyght, 
ye go and kepe ihesu body 

with aH youre myght ; 

And for thyng that be may, 
kepe hym weH vnto the thryd day, 
That no tratur steyH his cors you fray, 

Out of that sted; 
ffor if ther do, truly I say, 

ye shaft be dede. 

primus Miles, yis, sir pilate, in certan, 
we shall hym kepe with aH oure mayn ; 
Ther shall no tratur with no trayn 

SteyH hym vs fro ; 
Sir knyghtys, take gere that best may gayn, 





And let vs go. 




and take up 
their station 
round the 
tomb, still 

Secundus Miles, yis, cevtys, we are aH redy bowne, 
we shaH hym kepe till youre renowne ; 
On euery syde lett vs sytt downe, 

we aH in fere ; 211 

And I shaH fownde to crak his crowne 

whoso commys here. 213 

jmmus Miles, who shuld be where, fayn wold I wytt. 
Secuiidus Miles. Euen on this syde wylt I sytt. 
Tercius Miles. And I shaH fownde his feete to flytt. 

iiijus miles, we ther shrew ther ! 217 

Now by mahowne, fayn wold I wytt 

who durst com here 219 

[Pol. 103, b.] This cors with treson forto take, 
ffor if it were the burnand drake 
Of me styfly he gatt 1 a strake, 

Towneley Plays. XXVI. The Resurrection of the Lord. 318 


[The soldiers sleep : 
Jesus rises.'] 225 
Tunc cantabunt angeli " Christus 2 resurgens" & postea 
dicet ihesus. 

haue here my hand ; 
To thise thre 1 clayes be past 1 , 
This cors I dar warand. 

Ihesus. Erthly man, that I haue wroght, 
wightly wake, and slepe thou noght ! 
with bytter bayH I haue the boghf, 

. To make the fre ; 229 

Into this dongeon depe I soght 

And aH for luf of the. 231 

Behold how dere I wold the by ! 
My wound^/s ar weytt and aH blody ; 
The, synfuH man, fuH dere boght I 

With tray and teyn ; 235 

Thou fyle the noght eft for-thy, 

Now art thou cleyn. 237 

Clene haue I mayde the, synfuii man, 
With wo and wandreth I the wan, 
ffrom harte and syde the blood out 1 ran, 

Sich was my pyne ; 
Thou must me luf that thus gaf than 

My lyfe for thyne. 

Thou synfuH man that by me gase, 
Tytt vnto me thou turne thi face ; 
Behold* my body, in ilka place 

how it was dight 1 ; 
AH to-rent and aH to-shentt, 

Man, for thy plight. 249 

With cordes enewe and ropys toghe 
The lues feH my lymmes out-drogh, 
iror that I was not mete enoghe 

vnto the bore ; 253 

with hard stownd?/s thise depe wound?/.s- 

Tholyd I thefore. 255 

1 MS. iij. 2 MS> X p S# 

They will 
warrant the 
safety of the 
body for 
these three 

Jesus calls 
men to re- 
what He has 
done for 

Let them not 
defile them- 
selves now 
He has 


Let them 
look on His 
torn and 

. h, wounded 

-i47 body. 

314 Toivneley Plays. XXVI. The Resurrection of the Lord. 

His pains A crowne of thorne, that is so kene, 

and shame „, , , „ 

were ail lnay set apon my nede tor tene, 
man, Two thefys hang thai me betwene, 

AH for dyspyte ; 259 

This payn ilk dele thou shall wyt wele, 

May I the wyte. 261 

Behald my shankes and my knees, 
Myn armes and my thees ; 
[Foi. 104, a.] Behold me weH, looke what thou sees, 

Bot sorow and pyne ; 265 

Thus was I spylt, man, for thi gylt, 

And not for myne. 267 

And yit more vnderstand thou shaH ; 
In stede of drynk thay gaf me gall, 
AseH thay menged it with all, 

The lues feH; . 271 

to save his The payn I haue, tholyd I to saue 

Kii. r ° m Mans sauH from hell. 273 

Behold* my body how lues it dang 
with knotta/s of whyppys and scorges Strang ; 
As stremes of weH the bloode out sprang 

On euery syde ; 277 

knottes where thay hyt, weH may thou wytt, 

Maide wound?/-s wyde. 279 

And therfor thou shaU vnderstand 
In body, heed, feete, and hand, 
ffour hundreth wound?/s and fyue 1 thowsand 

here may thou se ; 283 

And therto neyn 2 were delt f uH euen 

ffor luf of the. 285 

Behold? on me noght els is lefte, 
And or that thou were fro me refte, 
AH thise paynes wold I thole efte 

1 MS. v. 2 MS. ix. 

Towneley Plays. XXVI. The Resurrection of the Lord. 315 

And for the dy ; 
here may thou se that I luf the, 

Man, faythfully. 

Sen I for luf, man, boght the dere, 
As thou thi self the sothe sees here, 
I pray the hartely, with good chere, 

luf me agane ; 
That it lyked me that I for the 

tholyd aH this payn. 

If thou thy lyfe in syn haue led, 
Mercy to ask be not adred ; 
The leste drope I for the bled 

Myght clens the soyn, 
AH the syn the warld with in 

If thou had done. 

I was well wrother with Iudas 
ffor that he wold not ask me no grace, 
Then I was for his trespas 

That he me sold ; 
I was redy to shew mercy, 

Aske none he wold?. 

lo how I hold myn armes on brede, 
The to saue ay redy mayde ; 
That I great luf ay to the had, 

well may thou knaw ! 
Som luf agane I wold* fuH: fayn 

Thou wold me shaw. 1 

Bot luf noght els aske I of the, 
And that thou f ownde fast syn to fle ; 
pyne the to lyf in charyte 

Both nyght and day ; 
Then in my blys that neuer shall mys 

Thou shall dwell ay. 

1 MS. shew. 










Man may see 
how great is 
the love of 
Jesus for 

Let him then 
love Jesus 
295 again, 


and ask for 
the mercy 
which can 
cleanse from 
all sin. 

Jesus was 
ready to 
show mercy 
even to 
would he but 
have asked 

[Fol. 104, b.] 

He only asks 
for man's 

316 Tovmeley Plays. XXVI. The Resurrection of the Lord. 

Those who 
will cease 
from sin and 
ask mercy- 
He will feed 
on His own 

the bread 
which by five 
words be- 
comes His 

Mary Mag- 
dalen la- 
ments the 
death of 

Mary Jacobi 
faints to 
think of His 

ffor I am veray prynce of peasse, 
And synnes seyr I may releasse, 
And whoso wiH of synnes seasse 

And mercy cry, v 325 

I grauntt theym here a measse 

In brede, myn awne body. 327 

1 [That ilk veray brede of lyfe 
Becommys my fleshe in wov&ys fyfe ; 
who so it resaues in syn or stryfe 

Bese dede for euer ; 331 . 

And whoso it takys in rightwys lyfe 

Dy shall he neuer. 1 ] [Jesus retires, and the three 

(56) Maries advance."] 

Maria Magdalene. Alas ! to dy with doyH am I dyght ! 
In warld was neuer a wofuller wight, 
I drope, I dare, for seyng of sight 

That I can se ; 337 

My lord, that mekirl was of myght, 

Is ded* fro me. 339 

Alas ! that I shuld se hys pyne, 
Or that I shuld' his lyfe tyne, 
ffor to ich sore he w T as medecyne 

And boytte of aH ; 343 

help and hold* to euer ilk hyne 

To hym wold call. 345 

Maria Iacobi. Alas ! how stand I on my feete 
when I thynk on his wound?/s wete ! 
lhesus, that was on luf so swete, 

And neuer dyd yH, 349 

Is dede and grafen vnder the grete, 

withoutten skyft. • 351 

Maria solomee. withoutten skyH thise lues ilkon 
That lufly lord thay haue hym slone, 
And trespas dyd he neue?* none, 

1 Crossed out with red ink (after the Reformation ?). 

Towneley Plays. XXVI. The Resurrection of the Lord. 

In nokyn sted? ; 355 

To whom shall we now make onre mone % 

Onre lord is ded. 

Maria Magdalene. Sen he is ded, my systers dere, 
weynd we will with full good chere. 
with oure anoyntmentz/s fare and clere 

That we haue broght, 361 

ffor to anoyntt his woundys sere, 

That lues hvm wiwht. 363 

Mary Salome 

asks to 

whom may 
.,-_ they make 
00 1 their moan 

now Jesus is 

dead ? 

The Mag- 
dalene pro- 
poses that 
they go and 
anoint His 


Maria laeooi. Go we then, my systers fre, 
ffor sore me longis his cors to see, 
Bot I wote neue?* how best 1 may be ; 

help haue we none, 367 

And which shall of vs systers thre 

remefe the stone % 369 

Maria salomee. That do we not bot we were mo, 
ffor it is hogh and heuy also. 
Maria, Magdalene. Systers, we thar no farther go 

Ke make mowrnyng ; 373 

I se two syt where we weynd to, 

In whyte clotbyng. 375 

Maria laeooi. Certa/s, the sothe is not to hyde, 
The graue stone is put besyde. 
Maada salomee. Ceitys, for thyng that may betyde, 

!Now wiH we weynde 379 

To late the luf, and with hym byde, 

that was oure frevnde. 381 

[Fol. 105, a. 
Sig. Q. 1.] 

The others 
wonder how 
they shall 
move the 
heavy stone. 

The Mag- 
dalene sees 
two sitting 
by the tomb 
in white 


j;ri??ius angelus. ye mowrnyng women in youre thoght 1 , 

here in this place whome haue ye soght 1 

Mkna Magdalene. Ihesu that vnto ded was broght, 

Oure lord so fre. 385 

Seexmd.ns angelus. Ceitys, women, here is he noght ; 

Com nere and se. 387 

The angels 
tell the 
women that 
Jesus is not 

Jesus is 

and shall be 
found in 

318 Towneley Plays. XXVI. The Besurrection of the Lord. 

jpri??zus angelus. he is not here, the sothe to say, 
The place is voyde ther in he lay ; 
The sudary here se ye may 

was on hym layde ; 391 

he is rysen and gone his way, 

As he yon sayde. 393 

JSecundus angelus. Euen as he saide so done has he, 
he is rysen thragh his panste ; 
he shalbe fon in galale, 

In fleshe and fell ; 397 

To his dyscypyls now weynd ye, 

And thns thaym teH. 399 

Maria Magdalene. My systers fre, sen it is so, 
That he is resyn the deth thus fro, 
As saide till vs thise angels two, 

Oure lord and leche, 403 

As ye haue hard 1 where that ye go 

Loke that 1 ye preche. 405 

Mania Iacohi. As we haue hard so shall we say ; 
Mare, oure syster, haue good day ! 
.Maria Magdalene. Now veray god, as he well may, 

The Mag- 
dalene bids 
the others 
preach what 
they have 

[Fol. 105, b.] 

She again 
Christ's suf- 

Man most of myght, 
he wysh you, systers, weH in youre way, 

And rewle you right. 

Alas, what shall now worth on me 1 
My catyf hart wyli breke in thre 
when that I thynk on that ilk bodye 

how it was spy It ; 
Thrugh feete and handy s nalyd was he 

Withoutten) gylt. 

withoutten gylt then was he tayn, 
That lufly lord, thay haue hym slayn, 
And tryspas dyd he neuer nane, 





Tovmeley Plays. XXVI. T7ie Resurrection of the Zord. 319 
Ne yit no mys ; 421 it was for 

11.1. x i her guilt He 

It was my gylt he was iorfcayn, suffered, for 

And nothing his. 423 own. 


how myght I, hot I lufyd that swete 

That for me suffred woxmdys wete, 

Sythen to be grafen vnder the grete, 

Sich kyndnes kythe ; 427 

Ther is nothyng tiH that we mete 

may make me blythe. [The loomen retire, and the 
(72) soldiers then ivake.] 

primus Miles. Outt, alas ! what shall I say 1 The soldiers 

r ' J discover the 

where is the cors that here in lay 1 disappear- 

ance of the 
Secxmdus Miles, what alys the man 1 he is away body, and 

17 ^ crv harrow \ 

That we shnld tent ! 433 

■pnmviS Miles. Ryse vp and se. 
Secimdus miles. harrow ! thefe ! for ay 

I cownte vs shent ! 435 

Teicius miles, what devyrl alys you two 
sich nose and cry thus f orto may 1 
Secrnidus Miles, ffor he is gone. 1 

Teicius Miles. Alas, wha? 439 

Secmidus Miles, he that here lay. 
Teicius Miles, harrow! deviH! how swa gat he away ? 441 

Quartns miles, what, is he thus-gat?/s from vs went, 
The fals tratur that here was lentt, 
That we truly to tent 

had vndertane 1 445 They fear 

Certanly I teH vs shent punished. 

holly ilkane. 447 

primus Allies. Alas, what shall I do this day 
Sen this tratur is won away % 
And safely, syrs, I dar well say 

he rose alon. 451 

Secxmdus Miles, wytt sir pilate of this enfray 

we mon be slone. 453 

1 "go" is needed to ryme with "two." 

320 Toivneley Plays. XXVI. The Resurrection of the Lord. 

The second 
soldier him- 
self saw 
Jesus go. 

[Fol. 106, £ 
Sig. Q. 2.] 

They think 
they must 
invent some 

as that a 
armed men 
stole the 

The fourth 
soldier is 
hold to tell 
Pilate what 
has really 

Quartus Miles, wote ye well he rose in dede 1 
JSecundus Miles. I sagh myself when that he yede. 
primus Miles, when that he styrryd out of the steed 

None couth it ken. 457 

Quartus Miles. Alas, hard hap was on my hede 

emang aH men. 459 


Tercius Miles, ye, bot wyt sir pilate of this dede, 
That we were slepand when he yede, 
we mon forfett, withoutten drede, 

AH that we haue. 463 

Quartus Miles, we must make lees, for that is nede, 

Oure self to saue. 465 

primus Miles. That red I weH, so myght I go. 
Secundus Miles. And I assent therto also. 
Tevcius Miles. A thowsand shaH I assay, and mo, 

weH armed ilkon, 469 

Com and toke his cors vs fro, 

had vs nere slone. 471 

Quartus miles. Nay, certe/s, I hold ther none so good 
As say the sothe right as it stude, 
how that he rose with mayn and mode, 

And went his way ; 475 

To sir pilate, if he be wode, 

Thus dar I say. 477 

primus Miles, why, and dar thou to sir pilate go 
with thise tythyng?/s, and teH hym so % 
Secundus Miles. So red I that we do also, 

we dy bot oones. 481 

Teicius Miles & omues. Now he that wroght vs aH this wo 

wo worth his bones ! 483 

Quartus Miles. Go we sam, sir knyghti/s heynd', 
Sen we shaH to sir pilate weynd, 
I trow that we shaH parte no freynd, 

Toivneley Plays. XXVI., The Resurrection of the Lord. 321 
Or that we pas. \ They come to Pilate.] 487 The first 

, 11 11 -n i -n i soldiergreets 

primus Miles. Now and I shall tell ilka word till ende, Pilate and 

'"".,. Aor\ the priests. 

right as it was. 4oy 

Sir pilate, prynce withoutten peyr, 
Sir Cayphas and Anna both in fere, 
And aH the lordys aboute yon there, 

To neuen by name ; 493 

Mahowne you saue on sydys sere 

ffro syn and shame. 495 

pilatus. ye ar welcom, oure knyghtys so keyn, Pilate asks 

A mekiH myrth now may we meyn, 
Bot teH vs som talkyng vs betwene, 

How ye haue wroght. 499 

jprimus Miles. Oure walkyng, lord, withoutten wene, 

Is worth to noght. 501 

Cayphas. To noght 1 ? alas, seasse of sich saw. Theyteii 

9ir ° him the 

Sec\md\xs Miles. The prophete ihesu, that ye weH knaw, prophet is 
Is rysen, and went 1 fro vs on raw, 

with mayn and myght. 505 

pilatus. Therfor the deviH the aH to-draw, He re- 


vyle recrayd knyght ! 507 them. 

what ! combred cow&rdys I you caH ! 
lett ye hym pas fro you aH ] 
Teicius Miles. Sir, ther was none that durst do bot small They plead 

when that he yede. 511 ng 

Quartus Miles, we were so f erde we can d?owne faH, 

And qwoke for drede. 513 

(86) [Fol. 106, b.] 

primus miles, we were so rad, euerilkon, 
when that he put besyde the stone, 
we quoke for ferd, and durst styr none, 

And sore we were abast. 517 

pilatus. whi, bot rose he bi hym self alone ? j eS us rose 

Secundus miles, ye, lord, that be ye trast, 519 atone!™ 86 


822 Towneky Plays. XXVI. The Resurrection of the Lord, 

There was a 
melody when 
He rose. 

Pilate asks 
the advice 
of Caiaphas. 

him to re- 
ward the 
soldiers, and 
make them 
tell another 

Pilate bids 
them say 
10,000 men 
in good 
array stole 
the body 
from them. 

we hard neuer on euyn ne morne, 
Nor yit oure faders vs beforne, 
Sich melody, myd-day ne rnorne, 

As was maide thore. 523 

pilatus. Alas, then ar oure lawes forlorne 

ffor euer more ! 525 

A, devirl ! what sharl now worth of this 1 
This warld farys with quantys ; 
I pray you, Cayphas, ye vs wys 

Of this enfray. 529 

Caiphas. Sir, and I couth oght by my clergys, 

ffayn wold I say. 531 

Anna. To say the best for sothe I sharl ; 
It shalbe p?*ofett for vs aft, 
yond knyght?/s behovys thare vrovdys agane carl, 

howheismyst; 535 

we wold not, for thyng that myght befarl, 

That no man wyst : 537 

And therfor of youre curtessie 
Gyf theym a rewarde for-thy. 
pilatus. Of this counserl werl paide am I, 

It shalbe thus. 541 

Sir knyghta/s, that ar of dedys doghty, 

Take tent tiH vs ; 543 


herkyns now how ye sharl say, 

where so ye go by nyght or day ; 

Ten thowsand 1 men of good aray 

Cam you vntirl, 547 

And thefyshly toke his cors you fray 

Agans youre wiH. 549 

loke ye say thus in euery land, 
And therto on this couande 
Ten thowsand pounds 2 haue in youre hande 
1 MS. XM 1 . " 2 XWli. 

Townehy Plays. XXVI. The Resurrection of the Lord. 323 



To you re rewarde ; 553 

And my frenship, I vnderstande, 

ShaH not be sparde ; 555 

Bot loke ye say as we haue kende. 
primus miles, yis, sir, as mahowne me mende, 
In ilk contree where so we lende 

By nyght or day, 
where so we go, where so we weynd, 

Thus shall we say. 

pilatus. The blyssyng of mahowne be with you nyght? 

and day ! 
[Pilate and the soldiers retire. Mary and Jesus advance^ 
Maria magdalene. Say me, garthynere, I the pray, 
If thou bare oght my lord away ; 
Tell me the sothe, say me not nay, 

where that he lyys, 566 

And I shaH remeue hym if I may, 
On any kyn wyse. 568 

Ihesus. woman, why wepys thou 1 be styH ! 
whome sekys thou 1 say me thy wyH, 

And nyk me not with nay. 571 

Maria Magdalene, ffor my lord I lyke fuH yH ; 
The stede thou bare his body tyH 

TeH me I the pray ; 574 

And I shaH if I may / his body bere with me, 
Vnto myn endyng day / the better shuld I be. 576 

Ihesus. woman, woman, turn thi thoght ! 
wyt thou weH I hyd hym noght, 

Then bare hym nawre with me ; 579 

Go seke, loke if thou fynde hym oght. 
Maria Magdalene. In fayth I haue hym soghft, 

Bot nawre he wiH fond* be. 582 


i&esus. why, what was he to the / In sothfastnes to say 1 

Maria Magddlene. A ! he was to me / no longer dwell I may. 

Ihesus. Mary, thou sekys thy god, and that am I. 585 

He gives 
them i> 10,000 
as their 

They pro- 
mise com- 
pliance, and 
are dis- 

[Fol. 107, a. 
Sig. Q. 3.] 

Mary Mag- 
dalene asks 
the Gardener 
if He knows 
where her 
Lord's body 

She has 
sought but 
cannot find 

Jesus reveals 

324 Towneley Plays. XXVI. The Resurrection of the Lord. 

Mary wor- 
ships Jesus. 

He bids her 
not to touch 
Him, but to 
bear His 
to His dis- 

Mary pro- 
mises obedi- 
ence, and 
rejoices at 
having seen 
the Lord. 

[Fol. 107, b.] 


Maria Magdalene. Rabony, my lord so dere ! 
Now am I hole that thou art here, 
Suffer me to negh the nere, 

And kys thi feete ; 589 

Myght I do so, so welt me were, 

ffor thou art swete. 591 

Ihesus. Nay, mary, neghe thou not me, 
ffor to my fader, tell I the, 

yit stevynd I noght ; 594 

TeH my brethere I shall be 
Before theym aH in trynyte 

whose wiH that I haue wroght. 597 

To peasse now ar thay boght / that prysondl were in pyne, 
wherfor thou thank in thoght / god, thi lord and myne 599 

Mary thou shaH weynde me fro, 
Myn erand shaH thou grathly go, 

In no fowndyng thou faH ; 602 

To my dyscypyls say thou so, 
That wilsom ar and lappyd in wo, 

That I thaym socoure shaH. 605 

By name peter thou caH / and say that I shaH be 
Before hym and theym aH / my self in galyle. 607 

Maria Magdalene, lord, I shaH make my vyage 

to teH theym hastely j 
ffro thay here that message 

thay wiH be aH mery. 611 

This lord was slayn, alas for-thy, 
ffalsly spylt, noman wyst why, 

whore he dyd mys ; 614 

Bot with hym spake I bodely, 

ffor-thi co??zmen is my blys. 616 


Mi blys is co?wmen, my care is gone, 
That lufly haue I mett alone ; 
I am as blyth in bloode and bone 

Towneley Plays. XXVII. The Pilgrims. 325 

As euer was wight 1 : 620 He is risen 

. that was 

Kow is he resyn that ere was slone, slain. 

Mi hart is light*. 622 

I am as light as leyfe on tre, 
ffor ioyfuH sight that I can se, 
ffor well I wote that it was he 

My lord ihesu ; 626 

he that betrayde that fre 

sore may he rew. 628 

To salyle now wiH I fare, She will go 

° J ' to Galilee 

And his dyscyples each from care : and release 

, , .,, the disciples 

I wote that thay win mowrne no mare, from care. 

Commyn is thare blys ; 632 

That worthi childe that mary bare 

he amende youre mys. 634 

Explicit resurreccio domini. 

Peregrini. 3 

[2 nine-line stanzas, no 4 aaaab cccb, no. 30 ababc dddc ; 5 eight- 
line, abababab ; 6 seven-line, nos. 39, 59 abab ede, the rest ababc 
be ; 40 six-line, aaab ab ; Q four -line, abab ; 1 couplet] 

[Dramatis Personae : 
Cleophas Lucas Jesus.] 

Cleophas. (1) 

lmyghty god, ihesu ! ihesu Cleophas 

Thafr borne was of a madyn fre, Jesus. 

Thou was a lord and prophete trew, 

whyls thou had lyfe on lyfe to be 4 

Ernang?/s thise men ; 
yH was thou ded, so wo is me 

that I it ken ! 7 

1 "fysher pagent" is written underneath the title in a later 


Towneley Plays. XXVII. The Pilgrims. 

Why was 
man so 
blind as to 
slay his 

[Fol. 108, a. 
Sig. Q. 4.] 


laments the 
death of 

They recall 
how Jesus 
was tortured 
by the Jews. 

I ken it weH that thou was slayn 

Oonly for me and all mankynde ; 
Therto thise lues were fuH bayn. 

Alas ! why was thou, man, so blynde 11 

Thi lord to slo 1 
On hym why wold thou haue no mynde, 

bot bett hym bio 3 14 

Blo thou bett hym bare / his brest thou maide all blak, 
his woundes all wete thay ware / Alas, withoutten lak ! 16 

Lucas. That lord, alas, that leche / that was so meke and 

So weH that couth vs preche / with syn was neuer f ylde ; 
he was fuH bayn to preche / vs aH from warkes wylde, 
his ded it wiH me drech, / ffor thay hym so begylde , 

This day ; 21 

Alas, why dyd thay so 
To tug hym to and fro ? 
ffrom hym wold thay not go 

To his lyfe was away. 25 

Cleopfras. Thise cursyd lues, euer worth thaym wo ! 

Oure lord, oure master, to ded gart go, 

AH sakles thay gart hym slo 

Apon the rode, 29 

And forto bete his body blo 

Thay thoght fuH good. 31 

Lucas. Thou says fuH sothe, thay dyd hym payn, 
And therto were thay euer fayn. 
Thay wold no leyf or he was slayn 

And done to ded ; 35 

ffor-thi we mowrne with mode and mayn, 

with rufuH red. . 37 


Cleoplias. yee, rufully may Ave it rew, 
ffor hym that was so good and trew, 
That thrugh the falshede of a lew 

Towneley Plays. XX VII. The Pilgrims. 


was thus betrayd • 
Therfor oure sorow is euer new, 
Oure ioy is layd. 

Lucas, Cextys, it was a wonder thyng 
That thay wold for no tokynyng, 
Ne yit for his techyng, 

Trast in that trew ; 
Thay myght haue sene in his doyng 

ffuH great vertu. 

Cleqphas. ffor aH that thay to hym can 
he answard neuer with yee, ne nay, 
Bot as a lam rrieke was he ay, 

ffor aH thare threte ; 
he spake neuer, by nyghtt ne day, 

jSTo wordes greatte. 


Lucas. AH if he wor withoutten plight, 
Vnto the ded yit thay hym dight ; 
If he had neuer so rnekiH myght 

he suffred alt ; 
he stud as still, that bright, 

As stone in waH. 


Cleop&as. Alas, for doyH ! what was thare skyH 
That precyous lord so forto spiH 1 
And he seruyd neuer none yH 

In worde, ne dede ; 
Bot prayd for theym his fader tiH 

To ded when that he yede. 

41 Their own 
sorrow is 
ever fresh. 

They marvel 
at the un- 
belief of the 






and the 
meekness of 

59 He stood 
still as stone 
in wall. 


How could 
the Jews 
slay Him ? 


Lucas. When I thynk on his passyon, 
And on his moder how she can swoyn, 
To dy nere am I bowne, 

■ffor sorow I sagh hir make ; 
Vnder the crosse when she fell downe, 

ffor hir son sake. 



[Fol. 108, b.] 

The remem- 
brance of 
His mother's 
makes them 
ready to die. 


Towneley Plays. XXVII. The Pilgrims. 

The blows of 
the Jews 
made His 
body blue. 


Cleophas. Me thynk my hart is fuR of wo 
when I sagfr hym to ded go ; 
Th[e] wekyd lues thay were so thro 

To wyrk hym woghe, 
his fare body thay maide fuH bio 

with strokes enoghe. 



When He 
asked for 
drink they 
gave Him 
vinegar and 

Lucas. Me thynk my hart droppys all in bloode 
when I sagh hym hyng on the roode, 
And askyd a drynk, with fuH mylde mode, 

Eight than in hy ; 
AseH and gall, that was not 1 good, 

Thay broght hym then truly. 

No man ever Cleophas. was neuer man in no-kyns steede 

suffered half r "1 

as much. That suffred half so greatfr mysdede 
As he, to ded or that he yede, 

Ne yit the care ; 
ffor-thi full careful! is my red 

where soeuer I fare. 

Lucas, where so I fare he is my mynde, 
Bot when I thynk on hym so kynde, 
how sore gyltles that he was pyynde 

Apon a tre, 
Vnethes may I hold? my mynde, 

So sore myslyk?/s me. 

Mc venit 2nesus m apjp&tatu peiegrini. 

Jftesus. Pylgrymes, whi make ye this mone, 

And walk so rufully by the way 1 
haue ye youre gates vngrathly gone 1 

Or what you alys to me ye say. 

what wordes ar you two emange, 
That ye here so sadly gang % 
To here theym eft 1 fuH sore I lang, 






Jesus asks 
why they 
walk so sor- 
rowfully ? 


Towneley Plays. XXVII. The Pilgrims. 

here of yow two ; 
It semys ye ar in sorow Strang, 

here as ye go. 

Cleophas. what way, for shame, man, has thou tayn 

That thou wote not of this affray % 
Thow art a man by the alane, 

Thow may not pleasse me to my pay. 
/hesus. I pray you, if it be youre will, 
Those Wordys ye wold? reherse me tyH ; 
ye ar ail heuy and lykys yH 

here in this way ; 
If ye wiH now shew me youre [wyll] 

I wold you pray. 

Lucas. Art thou a pilgreme thi self alone, 
walkand in contry bi thyn oone, 
And wote not what is commen and gone 

within few dayes 1 
Me thynk thou shuld make mone, 

And wepe here in thi wayes. 
i^esus. whi, what is done can ye me say 
In this land this ylk day 1 
Is ther fallen any affray 

In land awre whare V 
If ye can, me teH I you pray, 

Or that I farthere fare. 

Cleophas. why, knowys thou not what thyng is done 
here at lemsalem. thus sone, 
Thrugn" wykyd lues, withoutten hone, 

And noght lang syn 1 
nor the trewe prophete make we this mone, 

And for his pyne. 

Lucas, yee for ihesu of nazarene, 
That was a prophete true and clene, 
In word, in wark, fuH meke, I wene, 







He desires to 
know what 
are they 
talking of? 

asks how it 
is He has 
not heard of 
this affray ? 

[Fol. 109, a.] 

Jesus asks 
them to tell 

Luke cannot 
believe He 
has not 



Jesus again 
asks to be 





They tell 
Him they 
are mourn- 
ing the death 
of a prophet, 
Jesus of 


Towneley Plays. XXVII. The Pilgrims. 

They found 
Him ever 

The Jews 
put Him to 

Him a mile 

They expect 
Him to come 
again to life, 

but know 
not whether 
He be risen 
or no. 

[Fol. 109, b.] 

Jesus will 
expound the 
prophets to 

And that f onde we ; 139 

And so has he fuH: long bene, 

As mot I the, 141 

To god and to the people bath ; 
Therfor thise daies he has takyn skath, 
Vnto the ded, withoutten hagh, 

Thise lues hym dight ; 145 

ffor-thi for hym thus walk we wrath 

By day and nyght. 147 


Cleophas, Thise wykyd lues trayed hym with gyle 
To thare high preest?/s within a whyle, 
And to thare prynces thay can hym fyle, 

withoutten drede ; 151 

Apon a crosse, noght hens a myle, 

To ded he yede. 153 

Lucas, we trowyd that it was he truly 
his awne lyfe agane shuld by, 
As it is told in prophecy 

Of Cristas doyng ; 157 

And, c&ctys, thay wiH neuer ly 

ffor nokyns thyng. 159 

ffro he was of the crosse tayn 
he was layde f utt sone agane 
In a graue, vnder a stane, 

And that we saw ; ' 163 

wheder he be rysen and gane 

yit we ne knaw. 165 

Ihesus. Pilgremes, in speche ye ar fuli awth, 

That shall I weH declare you why, 
ye haue it hart, and that is rawth, 

ye can no bette?' stand therby, 169 

Thyng that ye here ; 
And prophetys told it openly 

On good manere. 172 

Towneley Plays. XXVII. The Pilgrims. 331 

Thay saide a childe there shuld be borne it was fore- 

m •> •> 1 T ■ t0M that He 

To by mankynde combrycl in care ; should lie 

Thus saide dauid here beforne earth and 

And othere prophetys wyse of lare, power. 

AnddanieH; 177 

Som saide he ded shuld be, 
And ly in erth by dayes thre, 
And sithen, thrugh his pauste, 

Byse vp in flesh and fell. 181 


Cleophas. Now, sir, for sothe, as god me saue, The disciples 

■* ' ' ' & > tell of the 

women has flayed vs in oure thoght ; report of 

° ° 7 the women, 

Thay saide that thay were at his graue, 

And in that sted? thay faunde hym noght, 185 

Bot saide a light 
Com downe with angels, and vp hym broght 

Ther in thare sight 1 . 188 

we wold not trow theym for nothyng, dfsSStedft, 

If thay were ther in the mornyng, 
we saide thay knew not his rysyng 

when it shuld be ; 192 

Bot som of vs, without dwellyng, 

wenttt theder to se. 194 

Lucas, yee, som of vs, sir, haue beyn thare, 

And faunde it as the women saide, 1 
Out of that sted that cors was fare, 

And also the graue stone put besyde, 198 

we se with ee ; 
The teres outt of myn ees can glyde, 

ffor dovH I dre. 201 

ifcesus. ye foyles, ye ar not stabyH ! JS25£ 

where is youre witt, I say 1 them - 

wilsom of hart ye ar vnabyH 

And outt of the right way, 205 

1 assonance to "besyde," "glyde." 

but found it 
was true. 


Towneley Plays. XXVII. The Pilgrims. 

Jesus knew 
that Judas 
should be- 
tray Him. 

Did not the 
foretell His 
death and 

[Fol. 110, a ] 

Christ must 
needs suffer 
thus, and 
then enter 
into bliss. 

thanks Jesus 
for His 



ffor to trow it is no fabyH 

that at is fallen this same day. 
he wyst, when he sat at his tabiH, 

that Iudas shuld hym sone betray. 209 

Me thynk you aH vntrist to trow, 

both in mode and mayn, 
AH that the prophet^s told to you 

before, it is no trane. 
Told? not thay what 1 wyse and how 

That cryst 1 shuld suffre payn 1 
And so to his paske bow 

To entre tiU his ioy agane. 
Take tent to moyses and othere mo, 

that were prophet?/,* trew and good ; 
Thay saide ihesus to dec? shuld go, 

And pynde be on roode ; 
Thrugh the lues be maide furl bio, 

his wound?/s rynyng on red blode ; 
Sithen shuld he ryse and furth. go 

before, right as he yode. 

_ (37) 
Crist' behovid to suffre this, 

fforsothe, right as I say, 
And sithen enter into his blys 

vnto his fader for ay, 
Euer to won with hym and his, 

where euer is gam and play ; 
Of that myrth shaH he neuer mys 
ffro he weynde hens away. 

Cleojplias. Now, sir, we thank if fuH oft sythes, 

the co??imyng of you heder ; 
To vs so kyndly kythes 

the prophecy aH to geder. 23T 

i7iesus. By leyfi 2 now, sirs, for I must weynde, 
ffor I haue far of my iornay. 
lucas. Now, sir, we pray you, as oure freynde, 





Towneley Plays. XXVII. The Pilgrims. 333 

AH nyght 1 to abyde for charite, 


Luke prays 

And take youre r[est] ; 

Him to stay 
with them 

At morne more prest then may ye be 

this night, 

to go fuH prest. 



Cleophas. Sir, we you pray, for godys sake, 

This nyght penance with vs to take, 

With sich chere as we can make, 

And that we pray ; 


we may no farthere walk ne wake, 

Gone is the day. 



Lucas. Dwell with vs, sir, if ye myght, 

ffor now if 1 waxes to the nyght, 

The day is gone that was so bright, 

No far thou shaH ; 


Him meat 
and drink 
for His good 

Mete and drynk, sir, we you hight 

fifor thi good tale. 



Ihesus. I thank you both, for sothe, in fere, 

Jesus says 

At this tyme I ne may dwell here, 

He may not 
rest with 

I haue to walk in wayes sere, 


where I haue hight ; 


I may not be, withoutten were, 

With you aH nyght. 



Cleophas. Now, as myght I lyf in qwarte, 

They entreat 

At this tyme wiH we not parte, 


Bot if that thou can more of arte 

Or yit of lare ; 


Vnto this cyte, with good harte, 

Now let vs fare. 



Lucas. Thou art 1 a pilgreme, as we ar, 

This nyght shaH thou fare as we fare, 

Ee it les or be it 1 mare 

Thou shaH assay ; 


Then to-morne thou make the yare 

[Fol. 110, b.] 

To weynde thi Way. 


MS. is. 

Towneley Plays. XXVII. The Pilgrims. 

Jesus con- 
sents to 
abide awhile. 

They invite 
Him to sit 
down and 

They are 
amazed at 
His sudden 
ance in 

Ihesus. ffreyndys, forto fulfill youre wilt 

I wiH abyde with" you awhyle. 
Cleophas. Sir, ye ar welcom, as is skyH, 

To sicn as we haue, bi sant gyle. 278 

Lucas. Now ar we here at this towne, 
I red that we go sytt vs downe, 
And forto sowpe we make vs bowne, 

Now of oure focle ; 282 

We haue enogh, sir, bi my crowne, 

Of godys goode. 284 

Tunc parent rriensamx 

Cleophas. lo, here a borde and clothe ]aide, 
And breed theron, aH redy graide ; 
Sit we downe, we shalbe paide, 

And make good chere ; 288 

It is bot penaunce, as we saide, 

That we haue here. 290 

Tunc recumbent & sedebit ihesus in medio eorum, tunc 
benedicet ihesus panem. & franget in tribus p&Ttibus, 
& postea euanebit ab oculis eorum ; & dicet lucas, 


Lucas, wemmow ! where is this man becom, 

Eight here that sat betwix vs two 1 
he brake the breed and laide vs som ; 

how myght he hens now fro vs go 294 

At his awne lyst 1 
It was oure lorde, I trow right so, 

And we not wyst. 297 

Cleophas. When went he hens, whedir, and how, 

What I ne wote in warld so wyde, 
ffor had I wyten, I make a vowe, 

he shuld haue byden, what so betyde ; 301 

Bot it were ihesus that with vs was, 
Selcowth me thynke, the sothe to say, 

Towneley Plays. XXV II. The Pilgrims. 

Thus preualy from vs to pas, 
I wist neuer when he went away, 
we were fuH blynde, euer alas ! 
I teH vs now begylde for ay, 
ffor speefr and bewte that he has 
Man myght hym knaw this day. 



They hold 
beguiled for 
not having 


Lucas. A, dere god, what 1 may this be 1 
Eight 1 now was he here by me ; 
Now is this greatt vanyte, 

he is away : 
We ar begylyd, by my lewte, 

So may we say. 

Cleophas. where was oure hart, where was oure thoght 
So far on gate as he vs broght, 
knawlege of hym that we had noght 

In aH that tyme 1 
So was he lyke, bi hym me wroght, 

TiH: oon pylgryme. 

Lucas. Dere god, why couth we hym not knawe 1 
so openly aH on a raw 
The tayles that he can till vs shaw, 

By oone and oon) ; 
And now from vs within a thraw 

Thus sone is gone. 



Cleophas. I had no knawlege it was he, 
Bot for he brake this brede in thre, 
And delt it here to the and me 

With his awne hande ; 
When he passyd' hence we myght not se, 

here syttande. 


Lucas. Wee ar to blame, yee, veramente, 
That we toke no better tente 
whils we bi the way wente 




[Fol. Ill, a.] 

He was s 
like to a 




They blame 
for not 
taking more 

336 Toivneley Plays. XXVII. The, Pilgrims. 

With hym that stownd? ; 337 

knowlege of hym we myght haue hentt, 

Syttyng on growndl. 339 

They knew Cleoplws. ffro he toke breede f uH weH: I wyst, 

Him as soon .,,,., .,_■,. » 

as He took And brake it here witn his awne fyste, 
and brake it. And laide it vs at his awne lyst, 

As we it hent ; 343 

I knew hym then, and sone it kyst 

with good' intente. 345 

Lucas. That 1 we hym knew wist he weH enogh, 
Therfor aH sone he hym with-drogh, 
ffro he saw that we hym knogh, 

with in this sted; 349 

I haue ferly what way and how 

Away that he shuld glyde. 1 351 

Cleophas. Alas, we war fuH myrk in thoght, 

bot we were both fuH wiH of red! ; 
Man, for shame whi held? thou noght 

when he on borde brake vs this breede 1 355 

he soght the prophecy more and les 
And told it vs right in this sted', 
how that he hym self was 

With wykid lues broght to ded', 359 

And more ; 
we witt go seke that kyng 

That suffred wonndes sore. 362 


They will go i UC as. Byse, go we hence fro this place, 

to Jerusalem J ? o r > 

To lemsalem take we the pace, 
And teH oure brethere aH the case, 

I red right thus ; 366 

ffrom ded? to lyfe when that he rase 

he apperyd tiH vs. 368 

1 assonance to "sted." 

and tell the 

Towndey Plays. XXVIII. Thomas of India. 337 

Cleophas. At levusalem I vnderstande, [Foi. in, b.] 

Ther hope I that they be dwelland, 
In that countre and in that land 

We shall theym mete. 372 

Weynd we furth, I dar warandf, 

Right in the strete. 374 

lucas. let vs not tary les ne mare, 
Bot on oure feete fast lett vs fare ; 
I hope we shall be cachid fro care 

ffuH sone, Iwys ; 378 

That blyssid childe that marie bare 

Graimtt you his blys. 380 

Expliciimb peregrini. 

They will be 
sure to meet 
them there. 

Thomas Indie. 1 

[Dramatis Personae. 

Maria Magdalene. Quartus Apostolus. \ Octavus Apostolus. 

Paulus. Quintus Apostolus. Novenus Apostolus. 

Petrus. Sextus Apostolus. Decimus Apostolus. 

Tercius Apostolus. Septimus Apostolus. Thomas Apostolus. 

[10 six-line stanzas, aab aab ; 72 four-line no. 5, abab, the rest (with 
central rymes), aaaa ; and 1 triplet, with central rymes, no. 14.] 

Maria Magdalene. (1) 

HAyH brether ! and god be here ! 
I bryng to amende youre chere, 
Trisfr ye it 1 and knawe ; 3 

he is rysen, the soth to say, 
I met hym goyDg bi the way, 
he bad me teH it you. 6 

petrus. Do way, woman, thou carpys wast ! 
It is som spirite, or els som gast ; 

Othere was it noght ; 9 

1 This Play was originally entitled " Resurreccfc'o dommi," the 
title being written in large letters with red ink as nsual ; the alter- 
ation to "Thomas Indie" is in small letters and black ink. 

Mary Mag- 
brings news 
of Christ's 

338 Towneley Plays. XX VII I. Thomas of India. 

Peter can- 
not believe a 
dead man 
has risen to 

Paul recalls 
Jesus' suffer- 

Mary must 
be wrong. 

Mary bids 
them put 
away their 
heresy. She 
saw and 

[Fol. 112, a.] 

spake with 

Peter re- 
proves her. 

Paul tells 
her ' there is 
no trust in 

Women are 
like apples 
in hoard, 
fair to look 
on, rotten at 
the core. 

we may trow on nokyns wyse 
That ded man may to lyfe ryse ; 

This then is oure thoght. 12 


paulus. It may be sothe for mans mede, 
The lues maide hym grymly blede 

Thrugh feete, handz/s, and syde ; 15 

"With nayles on rode thay dyd hym hang, 
wherfor, woman, thou says wrang, 

As myght I blys abide. 18 

Maria Magdalene. Do way youre threpyng ! ar ye wode % 
I sagh hym that dyed on roode, 

And with hym spake with mo wth ; 21 

Therfor you both, red I, 
putt away your heresy, 

Tryst it stedfast and cowth. 24 

petrus. Do way, woman ! let be thi fare, 

fTor shame and also syn ! 
If we make neuer sich care 
his lyfe may we not wyn. 28 

. (6) 

paulus. And it is wretyn in oure law 
1 Ther is no trust in womans saw, 

No trust faith to belefe ; 31 

fTor with thare quayntyse and thare gyle 
Can thay laghe and wepe som while, 

And yit nothyng theym grefe.' 34 

In oure bookes thus fynde we wretyn, 
AH manere of men weH it wyttyn, 

Of women on this wyse ; 37 

Till an appyH she is lyke — 
Withoutten faiH ther is none slyke — 

In horde ther it lyse, 40 

Bot if a man assay it wittely, 
It is full roten inwardly 

At the colke within ; 43 

Towneley Plays. XXV1IL Thomas of India. 31 








They are 



We will 
believe when 
we see, but 
not on a 

Mary pro- 
tests the 
truth of her 

Wlierfor in woman is no laghe, 
ffor she is withoutten agne, 
As crist me lowse of syn. 

Therfor trast we not trystely, 
Bot if we sagr! it witterly 

Then wold we trastly trow ; 
In womans saw affy we noght, 
ffor thay ar fekiH in word and thoght, 

This make I myne avowe. 
Maria magdalene. As be I lowsid of my care, 
It is as trew as ye stand thare, 

By hym that is my brothere. 
petrus. I dar lay my heede to wed, 
Or that we go vntiH onre bed 

That we shall here anothere. 


paulus. If it be sothe that we here say, 
Or this be the thrid day x 

The sothe then mon we se. 
Maria magdalene. Bot it be sothe to trow, 
As ye mon here, els pray I you 

ffor fals that ye hold me. 


jpetrus. Waloway ! my lefe deres / 2 there I stand in this peter begins 

, , alamenta- 

Sted, tionfor 

sicn sorow my hart sheres / for rewth I can no red ; 

sen that mawdleyn witnes beres / that ihesus rose from ded, 

Myn ees has letten salt teres / on erthe to se ym trede. 68 


Bot alas ! that euer* I woke / that careful! catyf nyght, 
When I for care and cold qwoke / by a fyre burnyng fuH 

When I my lord ihesu f orsoke / ffor drede of womans myght ; [Foi. 112, b.] 
A rightwys dome I wirl me loke / that I tyne not that 

semely sight, 72 

1 The words "be the " have been inserted in the MS. at a later date. 
2 The bars at all the central rymes are not in the MS. 

Alas that he 
denied Him. 

340 Towneley Plays. XXVIII. Thomas of India. 

He had 
vowed faith- 
fulness, and 
yet denied 
of his 

Alas that 
they all for- 
sook Him. 

Paul prays 
that they 
may see 


Bot euer alas ! what was I wode ! / myght noman be 

abarstir ; 
I saide if lie nede be-stode / to hym shuld none be trastir ; 
I saide I knew not that good / creature my master. 75 

Alas ! that 1 we fro the fled / that we ne had with the gane ; 1 
When thou with lues was sted / with the was dwelland 

nane, 1 
Bot forsoke the that vs fed / for we wold not be tayn ; 
we were as prysoners sore adred / with lues forto be 

slayn. 79 

paulus. JSTow ihesu, for thi lyfe swete / who hath thus 

mastryd the 1 
That in the breede that we ey tt / thi self gyffen wold be ; 
And sythen thrugh handys and feytt / be nalyd on a tre ; 
G-rauntt vs grace that we may yit 1 / thi light in manhede 

se. 83 

Tunc venit ihes^s et cantat "pax vobis et non tardabit,. 
liec est dies quam. fecit clommus." 

The third Tevcius apostolus. This is the day that god maide / arl be 
apostie U s rt give we glad and blythe, 

the n appe°ar- Tlie hol y § ost before vs«glad / fTuH softly on his sithe ; 
Jesu ° f -^ e( ^ dothyng apon he had / and blys to vs can kith ; 

softly on the erthe he trade / ffiulle myklly [he did] 2 

lythe. 87 


Quartus apostolus. This dede thrugh god is done / thus in 

aH oure sighte. 
Mighty god, true kyng in trone / Whose son in marye 

send vs, lord, thi blissid bone / As thou art god of myght, 
Sothly to se hym sone / and haue of hym a sight. 91 

Iterum venit ihesus, & cantat, "pax vobis & now tardabitP' 
1 MS. gone, none. % Originally "vs/' 

Towneley Plays. XXVIII. Thomas of India. 341 

Quintus apostolus. Who so commys in godch's name / ay The fifth 
blissid mot he be ! desires to 

Mightfuli god shelde vs fro shame / In thi moder name the body in 

n o which He 

mane ; 9o died. 

Thise wykid lues wiH vs blame / Thou grauntt vs for to se 
The self body and the same / the which that died on tre. 


Zfresus. peasse emang?/s you euer ichon ! / it is I, drede Jesus ap- 
pears, and 
yOU noght, bids them 

That was wonte with you to gone / and dere with ded feel His flesh 

, ,, ft ,_ and bone. 

you bognt. vl 

Grope and fele flesh and bone / and fourme of man weH 

wroght ; 
Sich thyng has goost none / loke wheder ye knawe me 

oght 1 . 99 

(21) [Fol. 113, a. 

My rysyng fro dede to lyfe / shall no man agane moytt ; T 1S f ' + -h 

Behold my woundes fyfe / thrugh h&udys, syde, and foytt ; behold His 

To ded can luf me dryfe / and styrryd my hart roytt. which men 

Of syn who wiH hym shryfe / thyes wound?/s shalbe his healed of 

boytt. 103 Sm " 


ffor oon so swete a thyng / my self so lefe had wroght, He did 

Man sawH, my- dere derlyng / to bateH was I broght ; Jjf™! soul, 

ffor it thay can me dyng / to bryng out of my thoght, Jot iove. at 
On roocle can thay me hyng / yit luf forgate I noght. 107 


luf makys me, as ye may se / strenkyllid* with blood so Love caused 

, His death 

red. \ and resur- 

luf gars me haue hart so fre / it opyns euery sted ; is sweeter 

luf so fre so dampnyd me / it drofe me to the ded ; 

luf rasid? me thrug his pauste / it is swetter then med. Ill 

than mead. 

wytterly, man, to the I cry / thou yeme my fader fere, Let not men 
Thyn awne sawH kepe cleynly / whyls thou art wardan sou^winch 

"U prp . He has 

IUUb ■> . bought so 

slo it not with thi body / synnyng in synnes sere, 114 dearl y- 
On me and it thou haue mercy / for I haue boght it dere. 

342 Toivneley Plays. XXVIII. Thomas of India. 

Jesus asks 
the apostles 
for some 

The sixth 
apostle gives 
Him roasted 
fish and 

Mi dere freynd^/s, now may ye se / for soth that [it] is I 
That dyed apon the roode tre / and sythen rose bodely ; 
That it aH-gat?/s sothfast be / ye shall se hastely ; 
Of youre mett gif ye me / sich as ye haue redy. 119 

paratm mensa, & offerat vi us apostolus fauum mellis & 
jpiscem, dicendo. 

sextus apostolus, lord, lo here a rostid fish / and a comb 

of hony 
laide fuH fare in a dish / and fuH honestly ; 
here is none othere mett bot this / in all oure company, 
Bot weH is vs that we haue this / to thi lykyng only. 123 


Jesus asks 
His Father 
to bless the 

IJiesus. Mi dere fader of heuen / that maide me borne to be 
Of a madyn withontten steven / and sithen to die on tre, 
ffrom ded to lif at set stevyn / rasid me thrugh thi 

with the wordys that I shaH neven / this mette thou blis 
thrugh me. 127 

He blesses it In the fader name and the son / and the holy gast, 
[Foi. ii3, b.] Thre persons to knaw and com / in oone godhede stedfast ; 
I gif this mett my benyson / thrugh wordys of myghtys 
mast; 130 

Now wiH I ette, as I was won / my manhede eft to tast 

in the name 
of the Trin- 

and bids 
the apostles 
eat also. 

My dere freyndys lay hand tiH / eytfa/s for charite ; 
I ette at my fader wiH / at my wiH ette now ye. 
That I ette is to fulfill / that writen is of me 
In moyses law, for it is skytt / ffulfiilyd that it be. 135 

He reminds Myn ye noght that I you told' / in certan tyme and sted', 
He had fore- When I gaf myself to wold 2 / to you in fourme of bred', 
death and W That my body shuld be sold? / my bloode be spylt so red ; 
This [co]rs gravyn ded' and cold' / the thrid day ryse fro 



Towneley Plays. XXVIII. Thomas of India. 343 

youre hartes was fuliiilyd with drede / whyls I haue fro Let them 

, believe what 

yOU bene ; they have 

The rysyng of my nianhede / vnethes wold* ye weyn \ their eyes. 

Of trouth now may ye spede / thorow stedfast word^/s and 

leyf freynd?/s, trow now the dede / that ye with ees haue 

sene. 143 

ye haue forthynkyng and shame / for youre dysseferance, He forgives 
I forgif you the blame / in me now haue affyance ; biSTthem 

The folk that ar with syn lame / preche theym to repent- pentanceto 

ance, sinners > 

fforgif syn in my name I enioyne theym to penance. 147 

The grace of the holy gost to wyn / resaue here at me ; 

hie respirat in eos. 

The which shall neuer blyn. / I gif you here pauste ; giv i n g them 

whom in erth ye lowse of syn / in heuen lowsyd shall be, bSand 
And whom in erthe ye bynd ther-in / In heuen bonden be loose * 
he. 151 

hie discedet ah eis. 

Septimus apostolus. Ihesu crist in trynyte / Ihesu to cry The seventh 

and PflW apostle 

dnu Ldn, cries on 

That borne was of a madyn fre / thou saue vs synfuH aH ! Svethem 
ffor vs hanged apon a tre / drank aseH and gafi, SaS£ 

Thi seruand?/s saue fro vanyte / In wanhope that we not 

faH. 155 

Octauus apostolus. Brethere, be we stabyH of thoght 1 / T he eighth 

wanhope put we away, SfflSrrf 

Of mysbelefe that we be noght 1 / for we may sany say thought. 

he that mankynde on rood boght / fro dede rose the thryd 

we se the wound^/s in hym was wroght / aH blody yit 

were thay. 159 

344 Towneley Plays. XXVIII. Thomas of Iiidia. 


The ninth Nouenus apostolus, he told vs fyrst 1 he shuld? "be tayn / 

apostle re- . , „ .. 

calls Christ's And for mans syn shuld dy, 

and P theTr eS Be ded and beryd vnder a stayn / and after ryse vp bodely • 

fuimmen . j^ ow j s h e q UV k f ro grafe gan x / lie cam and stode vs by, 

[Fol. 114, a. ... 

Sig. r. 2.] And lete vs se ilkan 1 / the Wound?/s of his body. 163 

(37) ^ 
The tenth, Decimus, apostolus. Deth that is so kene / ihesu ouer 

exults in ' 

Christ's coin en has, 

over death. As he vs told, yit may we mene / fro ded how he shuld* 

Thomas has pas ; 

Him. Ihesu stode witnes betwene / that 1 with hym dwelland? 

comes on 
the suffer- 
ings and 
death of 

AH his dyscyples has hym sene / safe oonly thomas. 167 

Thomas. If that I prowde as pacok go, / my hart is f uH of 

If any sorow myght a man slo / my hart in sonder it 

share ; 
Mi life wyrkys me aH this wo / of blys I am full bare, 
yit wold I nawthere freynde ne fo / wyst how wo me 

ware. 171 

Ihesu, my lyfe so good / ther none myght better be, 
None wysere man then better food / nor none kyndere 

then he ; 
The lues haue nalyd his cors on rood / nalyd with nales 

And* with a spere thay spylt his blood / great sorow it 

was to se. 175 

To se the stremes of blood ryn / weH more then doyU it 

sich great payn for mans syn / sich doyHfurl ded* he has ; 
I haue lyfid withoutten wyn / sen he to ded can pas, 
ffor he was fare of cheke and chyn / for doyU of ded? alas ! 

Mcpevgit ad disdpu\os. 

1 MS. gon, ilkon. 

Towncley Plays. XXV11I. Thomas of India. 345 


Myshty god for to dyscryfe / that neuer dyed, ne shall, Thomas 

wo and wandretfi from you dryfe / that ye not therin fall, other dis- 

petrus. he the saue with wound?/s fyfe / his son ihesu to teiis e iiim e of 

,, too the Resur- 

Catt, LoZ rection. 

That 1 rose from deth to lyfe / and shewyd hym tiH vs all. 

Thomas, whannow, peter ! art 1 thou mad 1 I on lyfe who Thomas 

1 I J thinks Peter 

was hym lyke ! mad, and 

reminds him 

ffor his deth I am not glad / for sorow my hart wiH breke, howhefor- 
That with the lues he was so stad / to dec! they can hym 

wreke : 
Thou hym forsoke, so was thou rad / when they to the 

can speke. 187 

paulus. let be, leyf brothere thomas / and turne thi thoght Paul tells of 

, , . Christ's 

belyte, appearance 

ffor the thryd day ihesus rase / fleshly fro ded to lyfe ; 
TiH vs aH he cam a pase / and shewyd his wound?/s fyfe, 
And lyfyng man, and etten hase / hony takyn of a hyfe. 

Thomas. Let be for shame ! apartly / ffantom dyssauys [Pol. 114, b.] 

the ! Thomas 

ye sagh hym not bodely / his gost it myght well be, deceived, 

fforto glad youre hartes sory / in youre aduersyte; 194 
he lutTyd vs weH and faythfully / therfor sloes sorow me. 

Teicius apostolus. Thou wote, thomas / and sothe it was, a third 

and oft has thou hard say, , raSSs the 

how a fysh swalod ionas / thre dayes therin he lay ; Jonah 6 ° f 

yit gaf god hym myght to pas / whyk man to wyn away ; 
Myght not god that sich myght has / rase his son apon 

the thryd day 1 199 

Thomas. Man, if thou can vnderstand / cryst saide his self, 

mynnys me, 
That aH lokyn was in his hande / aH oone was god and 


346 Towneley Plays. XXVIII. Thomas of India. 

The fourth, The son wax marke, aH men seand / when he died? on the 

fifth, and ' 

sixth tre, 

toconvince Therfor am I full sore dredand* / that who myght his 

Thomas of , , , * ° ^ nn 

the reality of DOOte be. 203' 

Christ's /A>7\ 

appearance. \*') 

Quartus apostolus. The holy gost in marye light / and in 

hir madynhede 
Godd^'s son she held? and dight / and cled hym in manhede ; 
ffor luf he wentt as he had hight / to fight withoutten 
When He when he had termynd that fight / he skypt outt of his 

had finished , ~~-. 

the fight He wede. 207 

skipped out /d.R\ 

of the body \*°/ 

Sothed Thomas. If he skypt outt of his clethyng / yit thou 

Him » grauntys his cors was ded? ; 

It was his cors that maide shewyng / vnto you in his sted ; 
fforto trow in youre carpyng / my hart is hevy as led ; 
his dede me hvyngys in great mowrneyng / and I with- 
outten) red. 211 
rescued the Quintus apostolus. The gost went to heH a pase / whils 

souls in , -, i 

hell, and the cors lay slayn, 

in His body. And broght the sawles from sathanas / for which he 
suffred* payn ; 
The thryd day right he gase / right vnto the cors agayn, 
Mighty god and man he rase * / and therfor ar we fayn. 215 


Thomas. AH sam to me ye flyte / youre resons fast ye 

Bot tell me a skyH perfyte / any of you on raw ; 217 

when cryst cam you to vysyte / as ye teH me with saw, 
A whyk man from a spyryte / wherby couth ye hym knaw 1 


Sextus apostolus. Thomas, vnto the anone / herto answere 

Man has both flesh and bone / hu, hyde, and hore thertiH ; 
sich thyng has goost none / thomas, lo, here thi skyH ; 
GodcU's son toke of mary flesh and bone / what nede were 

els thertiH? 223 

1 MS. rose. 

Towneley Plays. XXV III. Thomas of India. 347 

Thomas. Thou has answerd me ffuH Wele / and 1 Ml [Foi. 115, a. 

<y J ' Thomas asks 

Bot my hart is harde as stele / to trow in sicrl mastry : [ f ^ hrist . 

J ' J ' bade any of 

Say, bad he any of yon f ele / the wouudys of his body, * he apostles 
fiiesh or bone or ilka dele / to assay his body ? 227 bod y- 

septimus apostoZus. yis, thomas, he bad vs se / and handiH They ten 

hym with hande, 
To loke wheder it were he / ihesu, man lyfand, 
That dyed apon a tre / flesh and bone we fand, 230 

his woundes had bene pyte / to towch that were bledand. 

Thomas. Waloway ! ye can no good / youre resons ar He still 

defaced, ghost 

ye ar as women rad for blood 2 / and lightly oft solaced ; them. 
It was a goost before you stod / lyke hym in blood 

betraced, 234 

his cors that dyed on rood / for euer hath deth embraced. 

Odauus apostolus. Cevtys, thomas, gretter care / myght no The eighth 

„,,.,., apostle tells 

syntuH wight haue him of 

Then she had, that wepyd so sare / the mawdleyn at his appearance 

to the Mag- 
graue ; dalene. 

ffor sorow and doyH hir awne hare / of hir hede she rent 

and rafe, 238 

Ihesu shewid hym tiH hir thare / hir sorow of syn to safe. 

Thomas, lo, sich foly with you is / wysemen that shuld be, Thomas still 
That thus a womans witnes trowys / better than that ye se I 
In aH youre skylles more and les / for mysfowndyng faytt 
ye; 242 

Might I se ihesu gost and flesh / gropyng shuld not gab me. 

JSTouenus apostolus, lef e thomas, flyte no more / bot trow The tenth 

, . , , . i apostle re- 

and turne thi red, minds him 

Or els say vs when and whore / crist gabbyd in any sted ; foretold His 
ffor he saide vs when thou was thore / when he hym gaf ?ection! Ur " 

in bred?, 246 

That he shuld 4 salfe aH oure sore / quyk rysand fro ded?. 

348 Towneley Plays. XXVIII. Thomas of India. 





but will not' 

believe He 


[Fol. 115, b.] 

He appeared 
to them in 
spirit not in 
the body. 

Peter tells 
him of 
at Emmaus, 

where He 
brake bread 
as though 
He had cut 
it with a 


Thomas, he was fuH sothfast in his sawes / that clar I 
hertly say, 

And rightwys in all his lawes / whils that he lyfyd ay ; 

Bot sen he shuld thole hard thrawes / on tre whils that 
he lay, 250 

Dede has determyd his dayes / his lyfe noght trow I may. 

Decimus apostolus. Thyne hard hart thi saull wiU dwyrd / 
Thomas, bot if thou blyn ; 

he has ded conquerd / and weshen vs all fro syn. 

May nawder knyfe ne swerde / hym eft to ded wyn ; 254 

Goddys myght in hym apperd / that neuer more shall blyn. 

Thomas. That god I trow fuH Wele / goostly to you light, 

Bot bodely neuer a dele / ihesu. that woundid wyght. 

My hart is harde as stele / to trow in sich a myght, 

Bot if I that wounde myght fele / that hym gaf longeus 
the knyght. 259 


jpetrus. That wounde haue we sene, thomas / and so has 
mo then we ; 

With lucas and with cleophas / he welke a day Iurnee ; 

Thare hartes that for hym sory was / with prophecy com- 
forted he, 262 

To Emaus castell can thai pas / ther hostyld thai aH thre. 

Ihesu, goddis son of heuen / at sopere satt betweyn ; 
Ther bred he brake as euen / as it cutt had beyn. 
Thomas. Nothyng that ye may neuen / his rysyng gars 
me weyn, 266 

If ye me told sich seuen / the more ye myght me teyn. 

paulus. Thomas, brothere, turne thi thoght / and trust 

that I say the ; 
Ihesu so dere has boght / oure synnes apon a tree, 
which rysyng hath broght / adam and his meneyee. 270 
Thomas, lett be youre fayr ! shew it noght / that he efte 

quyk shuld be. 

Townehy Plays. XXVIII. Thomas of India. 349 


Tevcius apostolus. That must 1 thou nedelyngv/s trow / if Thomas still 

,_ , . . ,, .,, thinks the 

thou tin sauri win saue, other 

ffor that we sa we dar avowe / ihesu rose quyk from graue. mistaken. 
Thomas. I haue you saide, and yit dos now / thise wordes 

to wast ye haue ; 
he shewid liym not to you / foi mysfoundyng ye rafe. 275 

Qaurtus apostolus, ffor we say that we haue sene / thou 

holdlys vs wars then woode ; 
Ihesu lyfyng stod vs betwene / oure lord that with vs 

Thomas. I say ye wote neuer what ye mene / a goost 

before you stode; 278 

ye wenyd that it had bene / the cors that died on roode. 

Quintus apostolus. The cors that dyed on tre / was berid Theyteir 

, i him of the 

m a stone, 1 empty 

The thurgh beside fande we / and in that graue cors was srave ' 

his sudary ther myght we se / and he thens whik was gone. 
Thomas. Noght, bot stolne is he / with lues that hym 

haue slone. 283 

Sextus apostolus. Certa/s, thomas, thou sais not right / The Jews 

thay wold* hym not stele, have stolen 

ffor thay gart kepe hym day and nyght / with kuyghtys they guarded 

that they held lele ; 285 the tomb " 

he rose has we haue sene in sight / fro aH the lues fele. 
Thomas. I lefe not bot if I myght / myself with hym dele. 


septimus apostolus. He told vs tythyngt/s, thomas / yit [Fol 116> a> 
mynnys me, Slg - R - 4,] 

J J ' Christ had 

That as Ionas thre dayes was / In a fysh in the see, prophesied 

J ' J His rising, 

so shuld he be, and bene has / in erth by dayes thre, usta^ Jonah- 

pas fro ded, ryse, and rase / as he saide done has he. 291 

1 The rymes of this stanza should be in ane : stane, nane, gane, 

as a type. 

350 Towneley Plays. XXVIII. Thomas of India. 

Thomas asks Thomas. Geitys, that worde I harde hyni say / and so 
S&G& narde ye hym aH, 

deS. tlW Bot for nothyng trow I may / that it so shuld befall, 

That he shuld ryse the thrid day / that dranke aseH and 

sen he was god and ded lay / from ded' who myght hym 
call? 295 

Ortauus apostolus. The fader that hym sent / rasid hym 

that was ded, 
he comforth vs in mowrnyng lent / and counseld vs in red ; 
he bad vs trow with good intent / his rysyng in euery sted ; 
Thyne absens gars thi sauH be shent / and msikys the heuy 

as led. 299 

Thomas. Thou says soth, harde and heuy / am I to traw 

that ye me say ; 
Mi hardnes I trow skilfully / for he told vs thus ay, 
That his fader was euer hym by / for aH bot oon were thay; 
That he rose bodely / for nothyng trow I may. 303 

The Father 
that sent 
Him raised 

But Thomas 
still dis- 
believes a 

Noueims apostolus. May thou not trow withoutten mo / 

for sothe, that it was he 1 
Thomas wherto shuld we say so 1 / then wenys thou fals 

we be. 
Thomas. I wote youre hartes was fuH wo / and fownd 

with vanyte ; 306 

If ye swere aH and ye were mo / I trow it not or that I se. 

will con- 
vince him 
but to feel 


Dechnus apostolus. Thomas, of errowre thou blyn / and 

tiU vs turne thi mode ; 
Trow his rysyng by dayes threyn / sen he died on the rode. 
Thomas. Noght bot I myght my fyn ger wyn / in sted as 

nayle stode, 
And his syde my hande put in / ther he shed his hart 

bloode. 311 

Towneley Plays. XXVIII. Thomas of India. 351 


Ihesws. Brethere aH, "be with you peasse ! / leaffe stryfe Jesus ap- 
pears and 
that I10W is here ! bids Thomas 

Thomas, of thyn errowre seasse / of sothe Witnes thou here ; 
putt thi hande in my syde, no fres / ther longews put his 

spere ; 
loke my rysyng be no les / let no wan-hope the dere. 315 

Thomas. Mercy, ihesu, rew on me / my hande is blody of Thomas 

J I » cr j eg f or 

thi blode ! mercy. 

Mercy, ihesu, for I se / thi myght that I not vnderstode ! 
Mercy, ihesu, I pray the / that for aH: synfuH died on 

roode ! 
Mercy, ihesu, of mercy fre / for thi goodnes that is so 

goode ! 319 

kest away my staf wirl I / and with no wepyn gang ; [Foi. ii6, h.] 

Mercy will I caH and cry / ihesu that on roode hang ; ^ayhff 

Rew on me, kyng of mercy / let me not cry thus lang ! staff ' 
Mercy, for the velany / thou tholyd on lues with wrang. 

Mi hat will I kest away / my mantiH sone onone, hat, and 

vnto the poore help it may / for richere knawe I none. 
Mercy will I abyde, and pray / to the ihesu, alone ; 
My synfuH: dede I rew ay / to the make I my mone. 327 

Mercy, ihesu, lorde swete / for thi fyfe woundt/s so sare, 1 
Thou snared thrugh hand?/s and feete / thi semely side 

a spere it share ; 
Mercy, ihesu, lord, yit / for thi moder that the bare ! 330 
Mercy, for the teres thou grett / when thou rasid lazare ! 


Mi gyrdiH gay and purs of sylk / and cote away thou shall ; gay girdle, 

whils I am werere of swylke / the longere mercy may I caH. and coat, ' 

Ihesu, that soke the madyns mylk / ware noght bot clothes sooner come 

r ,, to Christ's 

01 pail, mercy. 

Thi close so can thai fro the pyke / on roode thay left the 
small. 335 

1 MS. sore. 

352 Towmhy Plays. XXVIII. Thomas of India. 

cries for 

Jesus fore- 
tells the 

when the 
shall be 
damned, and 
the faithful 
and alms- 
givers have 
heaven as 
their reward. 

He promises 
heaven for 
his tears and 

But blessed 
are they who 
have not 
seen and yet 


Mercy, ihesu, honoure of man / mercy, ihesu, mans socoure ! 
Mercy, ihesu, rew thi leman / mans sauH, thou boght fuH 

soure ! 
Mercy, ihesu, that may and can / forgif syn and be socoure ! 
Mercy, ihesu, as thou vs wan / forgif and gif thi man 

honoure. 339 

Ih esus. None myght bryng the in that wytt / for oght 

that thay myght say, 
To trow that I myght flytt / fro ded to lyfe to wyn away ; 
My sauii and my cors haue knytt / a knott that last 

shaii ay; 342 

Thus shaH I rase, well thou wytt / ilk man on domesclav. 

Who so hath not trowid right / to hefl: I shaH theym lede, 
Ther euer more is dark as nyght / and greatt paynes to 

drede ; 
Those that trow in my myght / and luf well almus dede, 
Thai shall shyne as son bright / and heuen haue to thare 

mede. 347 

That blys, thomas, I the hete / that is in heuen cytee, 
ffor I se the sore grete / of the I haue pytee ; 
Thomas, for thi teres wete / thi syn forgifTen be, 
Thus shall synfutt thare synnes bete / that sore haue 

grefyd me. 351 

Thomas, for thou felys me / and my woundes bare, 
Mi risyng is trowed in the / and so was it not are; 
AH that it trowes and not se / and dos after my lare, 
Euer blissid mot thay be / and heuen be theym yare! 355 

Explicit Thomas Indie. 

Towneley Plays. XXIX. The LorcPs Ascension. 353 


Ascencio Domini, et cetera. 

[1 thirteen-Une stanza, no. 57, ababb, cbcd, eeed : 6 tivelve-line, no. 
1 abab cbcb dcdc, nos. 6-10 ababb, cbcb, dcd ; 1 nine-line, no. 58, 
aaaab, cccb ; 16 eight-line, nos. 17-20, aaab cccb, 45-48 aaab aaab, 
no. 49, abab caca, nos. 50 and 64 abab, acac, nos. 61, 65-8 abab 
abab ; 1 seven-line, no. 16 aab cccb ; 5 six-line, nos. 11-13, 15, 
aa, bb, cc, no. 14, aaaa, bb ; 37 four-line, no. 32 aa bb, the rest 
ab ab.] 


Johannes Apostolus. 



[Dramatis Personae : 


Angeli 1 & 2 etc,] 

Tliomas. (1) 

BRethere aH, that now here bene, 
fforgett 1 my lorde yit may I noght ; 
I wote not what if may mene, 
Bot more I Weyn ther wiH be wroght. 4 
/Cannes apostolus. My lord' ihesus wift wyrk 
his wiU, 
pleatt we neuer agans his thoght, 
ffor vs ne wyrkes, as it is skyll, 

his hand-warke that he has wroght. 8 

symon. Apon his wordes wiH I ryst 

that he his self saide vs vntiH, 
As stedfastly on hym to tryst, 

Mystrust we neuer for goode ne iii. 12 

petrus. In heuen and erthe his myght may be, 

his wytt and his will also ; 
The holy gost, brethere, ment he, 

thus wiH he neuer fro vs go. 1 6 

ffourty dayes now drawes nere 

sen his resurreccyon complete ; 
Afore that wiH he appere, 

thus sodanly not lefe vs yett. 20 


Thomas, ■ 
John, Simon 
and Peter, 
express their 
faith and ex- 

354 Towneley Plays. XXIX. The, Lord's Ascension. 

They will In bethany here let vs abyde, 
Bethany to We knaw not yit what may befall ; 

await what , , . , i , i 

may befall, peraventur it may betyde, 

he shall fuH well comforth vs aH. 24 


[Foi. 117, b.] J/iesus. peasse now, my dere freyndys ! 

pears aJd P easse be witn J™ euer and a Y ! 

peace. them n?or ** a ^ wrang?/s amendys ; 
peasse brethere, sam I say ! 


He bids Brethere, in hartes be nothyng heuy 

them be of ' J o J 

good cheer. what tyme that I from you am gone, 

He must go T , „ . . 

from them, 1 must go irom you sone, m hy, 

but will send , , ,-, -, , on 

the Holy bot neuer the les make ye no mone; 61 

comfort° ffor I shall send to you anone 

the holy gost, to comforth you, 
you to wysh in euery wone 

I shaH you terl what-wyse and how. 36 

It shalbe for youre prow 

that I thus-gat?/s shall do ; 
It has been saide or now 

My fader must I to. 40 

with hym must I abide and dwell, 

ffor so it is his wiH ; 
ffor youre comforth thus I you teH, 

be ye stedfast for good or iH. 44 

L ®* th ® 1 ? Abide me here right on this hiH 

abide His re- ° 

turn on this to that I com to you agane, 

this forwarde must I nedys fulfill, 

I wiH no longer fro you lane ; 48 

And therfor loke that ye be bayn, 

and also trew and stedfast, 
ffor who soeuer you oght frayn 

when that I am past. . 52 

hie recedit. 

Towneley Plays. XXIX. The, Lord's Ascension. 855 

petrus. fTuH heuy in hart now may we be 

that we oure master sail forgo, 
Bot neuer the les yit saide he 

he wold not dwell fuH lang vs fro. 
What wonder is if we be wo, 

thus sodanly shall oure master mys, 
And masters on lyfe haue we no mo 

that in this warld shuld vs wys. 
he wiH pas f urth to blys, 

and leyfe vs here behynde, 
No merueH now it is 

if we mowrne now in oure mynde. 

Andreas. In oure mynde mowrne we may, 

as men that masyd ar and mad, 
And yit also, it is no nay, 

we may be blythe and glad, 
Because of tythyng?/s that we had?, 

that his self can vs say ; 
he bad be blythe and noght adrad, 

flior he wold not be long away. 
Bot yit 1 both nyght and day 

oure hartes may be fuH sore, 
As me thynk, by my fay, 

ffor wordes he saide lang ore. 


Thomas, lang ore he saide, fuH openly, 

that he must nedys fro vs twyn, 
And to his fader go in hy, 

to Ioy of heuen that neuer shaH blyn ; 
Therfor we mowrne, both more and myn, 

And mery also yit may we be ; 
he bad vs all, both outt and in, 

be glad and blythe in ich degre, 
And saide that com shuld? he 

to comforth vs kyndly ; 
Bot yit heuy ar we 

to we hym se truly. 





Andrew, and 
think on the 
woi i.s of 
Jesus, but 
cannot help 
His de- 






356 Towneley Plays. XXIX. The Lord's Ascension. 

[Fol. 118, a.] 

James and 
mourn also, 
though they 
Jesus' pro- 

Jesus ap- 
pears and 

If they love 
Him, they 
will he glad 
that He is 
going to His 


Iacobus. With ee wold we hym se / oure saveoure crist, 

godAys son, 
That dyed apon a tre / yit trewe I that we mon 1 : 90 

Now god grauntt vs that boyn / that with his bloode vs 

To se hym in his throne / as he maide aH of noght ; 1 
his will now has he wroght / and gone from vs away, 
As he noght of vs roght / and therfor mowrne we may. 94 

philippics. We may mowrne, no merueH why / for we 

oure master thus shaft mys, 
That shaH go fro vs sodanly / and we ne wote what 

cause is, 1 96 

Neuer the les the sothe is this / he saide that he shuld 

com agane 
To bryng vs aH to blys / therof may we be fane. 1 
That commyng will vs mych gane / and oure saules aH saue, 
And put vs fro that payn / that we were lyke to haue. 100 

Ihesus. herkyns to me now, euer ichon) / and here what I 

will say, 
ffor I must nedys fro you gone / for thus my fader wiH 

allway, 1 102 

And therfor peasse be with you ay / where so ye dwell in 

And to saue you fro aH fray / my peasse be with you blood 

and bone. 1 
I lefe it you bi oon and oone / noght 1 as the warld* here dos, 
It shalbe true as any stone / to defende you fro youre foos. 


let not youre hartes be heuy / drede not for any kyns thyng, 
ye haue harde me say fuH playnly / I go, and to you am 
I commyng. 108 

If ye luf me, for-thi / ye shuld* be glad* of this doyng, 
ffbr I go fuH securly / to my fader, heuyns kyng ; 1 
The which, without lesyng / is mekiH more then I, 
Therfor be ye thus trowyng / when aH is endid fully. 112 

1 The end-ryme of this couplet is the centre-ryme of the next 

Toivneley Plays. XXIX. The Lord's Ascension. 357 

ye haue bene of mysbilefe / hard of harte and also of wiH ; He T6 r 
To theym that 1 my rysyng can prefe / no credence wold* ye Jhem for 

gif theym till ; ! 114 wl™' 

Mary mawdlayn saide you tiH / that I was rysyn, bot ye 

ne wold 
hir trow for good or ili / the trouth ali if she told. 1 
sich" harmes in hartes ye hold / and vnstedfast ye ar, 
ye trowid no man of mold / witnes of my rysyng that bare; 


Therfor ye shaH go tech / in all this warld so wyde, and bids 

And to aH: the people preche / Who baptym wiU abyde, [Fol. us, t>.] 

And trowe truly 121 preach 


Mi detne and rysyng, the world. 

, . , Those that 

and also myn vpstevynyng, believe shall 

And also myn agane-co??zmyng, 

thay shalbe saue suerly. 125 

be saved, 

And Who trowys not this an d those 

That now rehersyd is, no?damnId. 

he shalbe dampned, Iwys, 

ffor veniance and for wreke. 129 The faithful 

rpi £ ,i liir shall cast out 

lokyns, lor sothe, shaH bene devils, speak 

Of those that trow, withoutten weyn ; tongues^ 

Devyls shaH thay kest out cleyn, 

And with new tongas speke. 133 


Serpentes shaH thay put away, be proof 

And venym^s drynk, bi nyght and day, serpents and 

ShaH not noy theym, as I say ; heai°the an 

And where thay lay on hand?/s 137 

Of seke men far and nere, 
Thay shalbe hole, withoutten dere, 
Of aH sekenes and sorowes sere, 

Euer in alkyn land?/s. 141 

1 The end-ryme of this quartlet or couplet is the centre-ryme of 
the next couplet. 


358 Towneley Plays. XXIX. The Lord's Ascension. 

Jesus bids 
the Apostles 
abide in 
for His 

They are to 
baptize men 
in every 
land, in the 
Holy Spirit. 

And therfor now I byd that ye 
Go not from ierosolyme, 
Bot abide the behest of my fader fre 

In land ay whore, 
That ye haue hard here of me ; 
££or Iohn baptist 1 , dere in degre, 
In water forsoth baptysid me 

Now here before; 

And ye certan in euery coste 
shall baptise in the holy goost, 
Thrug vertue of hym that is the moost 

lord god of myght, 
within few dayes now folowyng ; 
And herof merueH ye nothyng, 
ffor this shalbe his awne wyrkyng, 

shewyd in youre sight. 

& recedit db eis. 






Andrew, and 
James renew 
their mourn- 
ing. They 
are in fear of 
the Jews. 

petrus. fiarlee may we fownde and fare 

for myssyng of oure master ihe-sz/s ; 
Oure hsutys may sygh and be fuH sare, 

thise lues with wreke thay waten vs. 161 

Vs to tray and teyn 

ar thay abowte bi nyght and day ; 
ffor ihesu that is so seldom sene, 

as masid men mowrne we may. 165 

[Foi. 119, a.] Andreas. Mowrnyng makys vs masid and mad ? , 
as men that lyff in drede ; 
ffuH comforthles ar we stad? 

for myssyng of hym that vs shuld* lede. 169 

Iacohus. Thise lues that folow thare faythles will, 

and denied oure master to be ded, 
With mayn and mode they wold hym spiH, 

if thay wist how, in towne or sted. 173 

Toivneley Plays. XXIX. The Lord's Ascension. 359 

Iohsames. let keep vs fro thare carpyng kene, 

and com bot lytyH in thare sight ; 
Oure master will com when we leest weyn, 

he wiH vs rewle and red* fuH right. 177 

Thomas. Of this carpyng now no more, 

It drawes nygh the tyme of day ; 
At oure mette I wold we wore, 

he sende vs socowre that best may. 181 

Maria, socowre sone he wiH you sende, 

If ye truly in hym wiH traw ; 
youre mone mekely wiH he amende, 

My brethere dere, this may ye knawe. 185 

The hestys hyghly that he me hight 

he has f ulfillid in worde and dede ; 
he gabbyd neuer bi day nor nyght, 

ffor-thi, dere brethere, haue no drede. 189 

Matheus. Cextys, lady, thou says f uH wele ; 

he wiH vs amende, for so he may ; 
we haue fon sothe euerilka dele 

AH that euer we hard hym say. 193 

Ihesus. peter, and ye my derlyngys dere, 

As masid men me thynk ye ar ; 
holly to you I haue shewyd here 

To bryng youre hartys from care ; 197 

In care youre hartys ar cast, 

And in youre trowth not trew ; 
In hardnes youre hsutys ar fast, 

As men that no wytt knew. 201 

sende was I for youre sake / fro my fader dere, 
mesh and blode to take / of a madyn so clere ; 
sythen to me ye soght / and holly felowid me, 
Of wonders that I haue wroght / som haue I letten you se. 

John has 
faith in 

Mary speaks 
of the faith- 
fulness of 
her Son. 

Jesus ap- 
pears and 
them again. 

[Pol. 119, b.] 


Towneley Plays. XXIX. The Lord's Ascension. 

He recalls 
His mighty 

Mary's faith 
with their 

and reminds 
John that 
she is en- 
trusted to 
his care. 

Philip asks 
to he shown 
the Father. 


answers, He 
who sees Me, 
sees the 


The dombe, the blynde as any stone, 

I helyd ther I cam by, 
The dede I rasid anone, 

Thrugh my myght truly ; 

And othere wark?/s, that wonderfurl wore, 

I wroght wisely bef or you aH ; 
My payn, my passion, I told before, 

holly thrug outt as it shuld faH ; 
Mi rysyng on the thryd day, 

As ye bi tokyns many oone haue sene ; 
youre trouth truly had bene away 

had not my blissid moder bene. 
In hir it restyd aU this tyde, 

youre ded?/s ye ow greatly to shame ; 
here may ye se my wound?/s wyde, 

how that I boght you out 1 of blame. 
Bot, Iohn, thynk when I hang on rud 

That I betoke the mary mylde ; 
kepe hir yit with stabuH mode, 

she is thi moder and thou hir childe. 
loke thou hir luf , and be hir freynde, 

and abide with hir in weH and wo, 
ffor to my fader now wiU I weynde, 

thar none of you ask wheder I go. 
pJiilipjpus. lord, if it be thi wiU, 

shew vs thi fader we the pray ; 
we have bene with the in good and ill, 

and sagh hym neuer nyght ne day. 
Ihesus. philipp, that man that may se me 

he seys my fader fuH of myght ; 
Trowys thou not he d welly s in me 

and I in hym if thou trow right 1 









Towneley Plays. XXIX. The Lord's Ascension. 361 

In his howse ar dyuerse place, He pro- 

ip mises them 

1 go to oman ior you now ; the Holy 

ye shall aH be fulfillyd with grace, 

the holy goost I shall sende you. 241 

(42) [Fol. 120, a.] 

he shaH you in youre hartys wyse 

In worde and dede, as I you say ; 
With aU my hart I you blys — 

My moder, my brethere, haue aH good day ! 245 

Tunc vadit ad ascende?id\im. 

ffader of heuen, with good intent, P rays to the 

° Father, 

I pray the here me specyally ; 
ffrom heuen tiH erth thou me sent 

Thi name to preche and claryfy. 249 

thi witt haue I done, aH and som, 

In erthe wiH I no longere be ; 
Opyn the clowdes, for now I com and bids the 

In ioy and blys to dwell with the. 253 to receive 


& sic ascendit, cantcmtibus angelis " Ascendo ad em 


pvimus angelus. ye men of galylee, Angels pro- 

wherformerueiiye? £ a c ™f ' n s , 

hevyn behold* and se 

how ih.esus vp can weynde 257 

vnto his fader fre, 
where he syttys in maieste, 
With hym ay for to be 

In blys withoutten ende. 261 


And as ye sagh hym sty and foretell 

T , -, , His return to 

Into heuen on hy, judge the 

In flesh and ferl in his body 

ffrom erthe now here, 265 

362 Towneley Plays. XXIX. The Lord's Ascension. 

Right so shaH he, securly, 
Com downe agane truly, 
with his woundys blody, 

To deme you all in fere. 269 

He is God secunrZus angelus, MerueH haue no wightf , 
No wonder of this sight, 
ffior it is thrugh his myght, 

That all thyng may. 273 

"What so he wiH by day or nyght, 
In heii, niedyii-erth, and on hight, 
Or yit in derknes or in light, 

withoutten any nay ; 277 

ffor he is god aH-weldand?, 
heuen and heH, both se and sand, 
wod and water, fowH, fysh and land*, 

AH: is at his wiH ; 281 

he hald?/s aH thyng in his hand 
that in this warld* is lyfand, 
Then ned?/s ye noght be meruelland. 

primus angelus. And for this skyrl, 285 

[Foi.i20,b.] Eyght as he from you dyd weynde 
and shall so com agane he shaH, 

come again ° ' 

in judgment. I n the same manere at last ende, 

To deme both greatt and small. 289 

secxmdus angelus. Who so his byddyng wiH obey, 

And thare mys amende, 
With hym shaH haue blys on hy, 

And won ther withoutten ende. 293 

And who that wyrk amys, 

And theym amende wiH neuer, 
shaH neuer com in heuen blys, 

Bot to heH banyshed for euer. 297 

Towneley Plays. XXIX. The Lord's Ascension. 363 

Maria. A selcouth sight yonder now is, 

Behold? now, I you pray ! 
A clowde has borne my chylde to blys, 

Mi blyssyng bere he euer and ay ! 301 

Bot, son, thynk on thi moder dere, 

That thou has laf t emang?/s thi foes ! 
swete son, lett me not dwell here, 

let me go with the where thou goes. 305 

Bot, Iohn, on the is aH my trast, 

I pray the forsake me noght. 
Iohsames. lefe marye, be noght abast, 

ffor thi wiH shall ay be wroght. 309 

here may we se and fuH weH knaw 

That he is god most of myght ; 
In hym is good, we trawe, 

holly to serue hym day and nyght. 313 

jpetrus. A meruellous sight is yone, 

That he thus sone is taken vs fro ; 
fro his fomen is he gone 

with outten help of othere mo. 317 

Matheus. Where is iUesus, oure master dere, 

that here with vs spake right now 1 
Iacobus. A wonderful! sight, men may se here, 

my brethere dere, how thynk you? 321 

Thomas, we thynk it wonder aH, 

that oure master shuld thus go ; 
After his help I red we caH, 

That we may haue som tokyn hym fro. 325 

Bartholomews. A more merueH men neuer saw 

then now is sene vs here emang ; 
ffrom erth till heuen a man be draw 

With myrth of angeH sang. 329 

Mary calls 
on her as- 
cended Son. 

She bids 
John not to 
forsake her. 
He comforts 

The disciples 
marvel at the 
ascension of 

[Fol. 121, a. 
Sig. S. 1.] 

364 Towneley Plays. XXIX. The Lord's Ascension. 

Alone and 
Jesus as- 
cended from 



ffrom vs, me thynk, he is fuH lang, 1 

and yit longere I trow he wiH; 
Alas ! my hart it is so Strang 1 
that I ne may now wepe my fiH 
A wonder sight it was to se 
When he stevyd vp so sodanly 
To his fader in maieste, 
Ey his self alone. 

Matheus. Alon, for sothe, vp he went / into heuen tiH 

his fader, 
And noman wyst what he ment / nor how he dyd of no 

so sodanly he was vp hent / in flesh and feii fro erth vp 

here ; 
he saide his fader for hym sent / that maide vs aH to be 
in dwere 
This nyght ; 
Neuer the les fuH weH wote we 
As that he wiH so must it be, 
ffior aH thyng is in his pauste, 


And that is right. 



Mary blesses 
her Child. 

Maria. AH myghty god, how may this be 1 
a clowde has borne my childe to blys ; 

Now bot that I wote whede?* is he, 
my hart wold breke, weH wote I this. 


his stevynyng vp to blys in hy, 
it is the sourc of aH my Ioyes ; 

Mi blyssyng, barne, light on thi body ! 
let neuer thi mode?* be spylt with lues. 


Take me to the, my son so heynd, 
and let me neuer with lues be lorne ; 
For His sake help, for my son luf, Iohn, son kynde, 
help her. for ferde that I with lues be tome. 


May He save 
her from the 



MS. long, strong. 

Towneley Plays. XXIX. The Lord's Ascension. 365 




Mi flesh it quakes as lefe on lynde, 

to shontt the showres sharper then thorne ; 

help me, Iohn, if thou be kynde, 

my son myssyng maikys me to mowrne. 


Ioharmes. youre seruande, lady, he me maide, 

and bad me kepe you ay to qweme ; 
Blythe were I, lady, myght I the glad', 

and with my myght I shaH the yeme. 

Therfor be ferd for nokyn thyng 

for oght that lues wold do you to ; 
I shaH be bayn at youre byddyng, 

as my lorde bad, your seruande lo ! 

Maria. Glad am I, Iohn, Whils I haue the ; 

more comf orth bot my son can I none craue ; 
so covers thou my care, and carpys vnto me, 

whils I the se, euer am I safe. 
Was none, safe my son, more trusty to me, 

therfor his grace saH neue?* fro the go ; 
he shaH the qwyte, that died on a tre, 

weH mend?/s thou my mode, when I am in wo. 

simon. let hy vs fro this hiH, and to the towne weynde 

for fere of the lues, that spites ar & prowde ; 
With oure dere lady, I red that we weynd, 

and pray tiH hir dere son, here apon lowde. 
To hir buxu??zly I red* that we bende, 

syn hir dere son fro vs is gone in a clowde, 
And hertely in hast haylse we that heynde, 

To oure master is she moder, semely in shrowde. 

A, marie so mylde, the myssid we haue ; 

Was neuer madyn so menskfuH here apon molde 
As thou art, and moder cleyne, bot this wold we craue, 

If this were ihesu, thi son, that Iudas has sold*, 391 

She is 
like a leaf. 





John com- 
forts her. 

He will be 
at her bid- 

[Fol. 121, b.] 

Mary feels 
safe with 

Her Son will 
requite him. 

Simon pro- 
poses to go 
to the town 
for fear of 
the Jews. 
They must 
show rever- 
ence to Mary 
as their 

366 Towneley Plays. XXIX. The Lord's Ascension. 

Shew vs the sothe, vs aH may it saue ; 

we pray the, dere lady, layn that thou nold, 

He asks if 
He who as- 
cended was 

Jesus, whom Bot speli vs oure spyryng, or els mon we raf e, 

Bot thou witterly vs wysh, so fayn wyt we wold. 


Mary pro- 
claims that 
He who was 
born of her 
bosom, was 
God and 
Man, and 
bids them 
teach this. 


Maria, peter, andrew, Iohn, and Iamys the gent, 

Symon, Iude, and bartilmew the bold, 
And aH my brethere dere, that ar on this bent, 

Take tent to my tayU, tiH that I haue told? 
Of my dere son, what I haue mentt, 

That hens is hevyd* to his awne hold ; 
he taght you the trouthe, or he to heuen went ; 

he was borne of my bosom as his self wold?. 


he is god and man that stevynd into heuen ; 

preche thus to the pepyH that most ar in price. 
Sek?/s to thare savyng, ye apostilles eleven, 

To the lues of lemsalem as youre way lyse, 
say to the cyte as I can here neuen, 

teH: the wark?/s of my son warly and wyse ; 
Byd theym be stedfast & lysten yowr steuen, 

or els be thay dampned as men full of vyce. 





Here is a gap of 12 leaves, in the MS., from Sig. s. 1. to sig. t. 6. 

Towneley Plays. XXX. The Judgment. 




[42 nine-line stanzas ; aaaab, cccb ; 23 eight-line, ab, ab, ab, ab ; 
2 six-line, no. 63, ababab, no. 2 aab, ccb ; 9 four-line, aaaa, 1 
no. 65, ab ab ; 5 couplets and 2 lines of Latin.] 


[Dramatis Personae. 

Primus Demon. 

Secundus Demon. 



Primus Bonus. 

Secundus Bonus. 
Tercius Bonus. 
Quartus Bonus. ] 


Secundus Malus. 

Tercius Malus. 

Quartus Malus. 

Primus Angelus. 

[Secundus Malus. ~\ (1) 

fTuH darfe has bene oure deede / for thi ccwzmen is oure 

care ; 
This day to take oure mede / for nothyng may we spare. 
Alas, I harde that home / that callys vs to the dome, 
AH that euer were borne / thider behofys theym com. 4 
May nathere lande ne se / vs fro this dome hide, 
ffor ferde fayn wold? I fie / bot I must nedys abide ; 
Alas, I stande great aghe / to loke on that Iustyce, 
Ther may no man of lagh / help with no quantyce. 8 

vokettys ten or twelfe / may none help at this nede, 
Bot ilk man for his self / shall answere for his dede. 10 

Alas, that I was borne ! 
I se now me beforne, 

That lord with Wound^s f yf e ; 1 3 

how may I on hym loke, 
That falsly hym forsoke, 

When I led synf uH lyf e 1 1 6 

Tercius, malus. Alas, carefuH catyfys may we ryse, 

sore may we wryng oure handz/s and wepe ; 
ffor cursid and sore covytyse 

dampnyd be we in heH full depe. 20 

1 The aaaa lines have central rymes markt here by bars / not in 
the MS. 

[Fol. 122, a.} 

Malus la- 
ments. The 
horn has 
sounded that 
calls to 

No lawyer 
nor advocate- 
may save 
men by 
Each must 
answer for 


Toiuneley Plays. XXX. Tine, Judgment. 


Tercius Ma- Koght we neuer of godws seruyce, 

lus bemoans ,°. ° * J ' 

his coramaundement?/s wold we not kepe, 
Bot oft tymes maide we sacrifice 
to sathanas when othere can slepe. 


Alas ! now wakyns aH oure were, 

oure wykyd W&vkys can we not hide, 
Bot on oure hakys we must theym here, 

that will vs soroo on ilka syde. 
Oure dedys this day wiH do vs dere, 

Oure domysman here we must abide, 
And iejndys, that will vs felly fere, 

thare pray to haue vs for thare pride. 

Brymty before vs be thai broght, 

oure ded?/s that shall dam vs bidene ; 
That eyre has harde, or harte thoght, 

that mowthe has spokyii), or ee sene, 
That foote has gone, or hande wroght, 

in any tyme that we may mene ; 
ffhiH: dere this day now bees it boght. 

alas ! vnborne then had I bene ! 




All that ear 
has heard 
or heart 
spoken or 
eye seen, is 
now brought 
before them. 



QuarUxs, malus. Alas, I am forlorne ! / a spytus blast here 

blawes ! 
I harde weH bi yonde home / I wote wherto it drawes ; 
I wold I were vnborne / alas ! that this day dawes ! 
Now mon be dampnyd this morne / my warkys, my ded?/s, 

my sawes. 44 


Now bees my curstnes kyd / alas ! I may not layn 

AH that euer I dyd* / it bees put vp fuH playn. 

That I wold? fayn were hyd* / my synfull word^/s and vayn, 

ffhiH new now mon be rekynyd / vp to me agayn. 48 

[Pol. 122, b.] Alas ! fayn wold I fle / for ded?/s that I haue done, 
He would Bot that may now not be / I must abyde my boyn ; 

I trowed neuer to have sene this dredfull day thus soyn ; 

Alas ! what shall I say When he sitti/s in his trone 1 52 

Quartus Ma- 
lus has heard 
the horn. 
Would he 
were un- 
born ! 

His wicked- 
ness is 
known, and 
may not be 

Toivneley Plays. XXX. The Judgment. 369 

To se his Wound^s bledande / this is a dulfuH case ; 
Alas ! how shaH I stand / or loke hym in the face 1 How shall 

So cuxtes I hym fand / that gaf me life so lang a space ; Christ's 
Mi care is all command' / alas ! where was my grace 1 ? 56 

Alas ! caty%s vnkynde / where on was oure thoght % 
Alas ! where on was oure mynde / so wykyd wark?/s we 
WroghU 58 

To se how he Was pynde / how dere oure luf he boght, 
Alas ! we were fuH blynde / now ar we wars then noght'. 


Alas ! my couetyse / myn yH wiH, and myn Ire ! 
Mi neghbur to dispise / most was my desyre ; 62 Alas for his 

I demyd euer at my deuyse / me thoght I had no peyre, ness, and an 
With my self sore may I grise / now am quyt my hyre. 

Where I was wonte to go / and haue my Wordys at will, 
Now am I set fuH thro / and fayn to hold' me still ; 
I went both to and fro / me thoght I did 1 neuer iH, 
Mi neghburs for to slo / or hurt withoutten skiH. 68 

Wo worth euer the fader / that gate me to be borne I 
That euer he lete me stir / bot that I had bene f orlorne ; Cursed be 
Warid be my moder / and warid be the morne mother, and 

That I was borne of hir / alas, for shame and skorne I 72 was born ! 

^primus angelus, cum. gladio. 
stand not togeder, parte in two ! The first 

ii i n , i • i i angel .parts 

air sam snaH ye not be in blys • the good 

Oure lorde of heuen wiU it be so, bad. 

for many of you has done amys ; 76 

On his right hand ye good shaH go, 

the way tiH heuen he shaH you wys ; 
ye wykid? saules ye weynd hym fro, 

on his left hande as none of his. 80 

Zftesus. The tyme is cowmen, I wiH make ende, j eS us takes 

my fader of heuen wiH it so be, SrtiT yto 

Therfor tiH erthe now wiH I weynde, 

my self to sytt in maieste. 84 



Towneley Plays. XXX. The Judgment. 

He comes, 
in His body, 
to deal judg- 

[Fol. 123, a.] 

The first 
demon has 
heard the 
horn : 

at the sound 
of it his 
bonds broke 

The second 
demon shook 
for dread; 

but all his 
helped no- 

They tell 
each other 
of their 

Their gear 
must be got 
ready, for 
they are like 
to have war. 
Doomsday is 
come, and 
the souls 
have fled 
from hell. 

To dele my dome I wiH discende, 
this body wiH I bere with me, 
how it was dight mans mys to amende 

aH mans kynde ther shall it se. 88 

pximus demon). Oute, haro, out, out! / harkyn to this 

I was neuer in dowte / or now at this morne ; 
So sturdy a showte / sen that I was borne 
hard I neuer here abowte / in ernyst ne in skorne, 

A wonder ! 93 

I was bonde fuH fast 
In yrens for to last, 
Bot my band?/s thai brast 

And shoke aH in sonder. 97 

secundus demon. I shoterd and shoke / I herd sich a rerd, 
When I harde it I qwote / for aH that I lerd, 
Bot to swere on a boke / I durst not aperd ; 
I durst not loke / for aH medirl-erd, 

ffutt payH ; 102 

Bot gyrned and gnast, 
my force did? I frast, 
Bot I wroght aH wast, 

It 1 myght not auayH. 106 

primus demon). It was like to a trumpe / it had sich a 

sownde ; 
I feH on a lumpe / for ferd that I swonde. 
secunJus demon. There I stode on my stumpe / I stakerd 

that stownde, 
There chachid I the crumpe / yit held? I my grounde 

halfe nome. Ill 

primus demon. Make redy oure gere, 
we ar like to haue were, 
ffor now dar I swere 

That domysday is comme ; 115 

ffor aH oure saules ar wente / and none ar in heH. 
secundus demon. Bot we go we ar shente / let vs not 

Towneley Plays. XXX. The, Jitdgment. 371 

It sittys you to tente / in this mater to meH, The second 

As a pere in a parlamente / what case so bef eH ; the first that 

It is nedefuH 120 to the Court, 
That ye tente to yonre awne, to ParEa- r 

What draght so "be drawne, 
If the courte be knawen 

the luge is right dredfuH. 124 

primus demon, ffor to stand? thus tome / thou gars me grete. Up Watiing 

-, -, ,.ii, Street will 

6'ecunaus demon, let vs go to this dome / vp watlyn strete. be the way, 
primus demon. I had leuer go to rome / yei thryse, on my would rather 

- make three 

iete, pilgrimages 

Then f orto grefe yonde grome / or with hym forto mete ; 

ffor wysely 129 

he spekys on trete, 
his paustee is grete, 
bot begyn he to threte 

he \6kys fuH grisly. 133 

Eot fast take oure rentals / hy, let vs go hence ! They must 

ffor as this f als / the great sentence. books with 

secune?us demon. Thai ar here in my dais / fast stand We [Foi. 123, i>.] 
to fence, them, to give 

Agans thise dampnyd sauls / Without repentence, against the 

And lust. 138 souls! 6 

primus demon, how so the gam crokys, 
Examyn oure bokys. 
secuntZus demon, here is a bag fuH, lokys, 

of pride and of lust, 142 

Of Wraggers and wrears / a bag fuH of brefes, They have 

Of carpars and cryars / of mychers and thefes, aifkinds of 

Of lurdans and lyars / that no man lefys, sinners. 

Of fly tars, of flyars / and renderars of reffys ; 

This can I, 147 

Of alkyn astates 
that go bi the gatys, 
Of poore pride, that god h&tys, 

Twenty so many. 151 


Towneley Plays. XXX. The Judgment. 

The first 
demon asks 
if there is 
anger in 
their bill; if 
so, his fellow 
shall have a 

There is 
anger and 

Is there 



against the 



More rolls 
fnll than he 
can carry. 

The second 
demon is 
praised as a 
good ser- 
vant, and 
bids his 

Had Dooms- 
day been de- 
layed, they 
must have 
built hell 

primus demon), peasse, I pray the, be stiH / I laghe that I 

Is oght Ire in thi bili / and then shaH thou drynke. 
secxmdus demon, sir, so mekiH iH will / that thai wold' 

Thare foes in a fyere still / bot not aH that I thynke 

dar I say, 156 

Eot before hym he prase hym, 
behynde he mys-sase hym, 
Thus dowbitt he mase hym, 

thus do thai today. 160 


primus demon\ has thou oght Writen there / of the 

femynyn gendere? 
secundfas demon, yei, mo then I may bere / of rolles forto 

render ; 
Thai ar sharp as a spere / if thai seme bot slender ; 
Thai ar euer in were / if thai be tender, 

ytifetylcJ; 165 

she that is most meke, 
When she semys fuH seke, 
she can rase vp a reke 

if she be weH nettyldl. 169 

primus demon. Thou art the best hyne / that euer cam 

beside vs. 
secundus demon, yei, bot go we, master myne / yit wold I 

we hyde vs ; 
Thai haue blowen lang syne / thai wiH not abide vs ; 
We may lightly tyne / and then wilt ye chide vs 

Togeder. 174 

primus demon. Make redy oure tolys. 
ffor we dele with no fo}ys. 
secundus demon, sir, aH cleikys of oure scolys 

ar bowne furth theder ; 178 

Bot, sir, I tell you before / had domysday oght taridl 
We must haue biggid? heH more / the warld is so warid. 

Towneley Plays. XXX. The Judgment. 373 

primus demon. Now gett we do whirl store / of bodys The first 

. ,, demon 

myscand* thinks of the 

To the soules where thai wore / both sara to be harrid. souls to be 

secun<ius demon. Thise rolles 183 ame * 

Ar of bakbytars, [Foi. 124, a.] 

And fals quest-dytars, 
I had no help of writars 

bot thise two dalles. 1 187 

(27) ■ 
ffaithe and trowth, maffay / has no fete to stande ; Faith and 

The poore pepyll must pay / if oght be in hande, weak, and 

The drede of god is away / and lawe out of lande. God per- 

^?ri??2us demon). By that wist I that domysday / was nere 
In seson. 192 


secuncftis demon). Sir, it is saide in old sawes — The proverb 

.-I ■, Jiii i tells us that 

the longere that day dawes — people and 

1 Wars pepiH wars lawes.' grow worm, 

primus demon). I lagfr at thi reson ; 196 

Alle this was token / domysday to drede ; All this was 

fYuH oft was it spokyn / furl few take hede ; judgment. 

Bot now shall we be wrokyn / of thare falshede, 
ffor now bese vnlokyn / many dern dede 

In Ire ; 201 
AH thare synnes shaH be knawen, 2 If their 

Othere mens, then thare awne. not weii be 

Secwidus demon. Bot if this draght be well drawen "Dunis in 

don is in the myre. 205 the mire -" 


Tutivillus. Whi spir ye not, sir / no questyons 1 Tutiviiius ' 

I am oone of youre ordir / and oone of youre sons ; them, and 

I stande at my tristur / when othere men shones. ' tnefirst 

primus demon). Now thou art myn awne querestur / 1 wote officer! 0Wn 
where thou wonnes ; 

1 The ryme needs " dolles." 2 MS. knowen. 


Towneley Plays. XXX. The Judgment. 

has "been 
tollsman and 
registrar for 
the devil, 
and is now 

He has 

brought in 
mere than 
ten thousand 
souls in an 

He has 

hunted them 
till he is 

[Fol. 124, b.] 

The demons 

He tells of 
the fools who 
dress finely, 
and leave 
their chil- 
dren bread- 

do teH me. 210 

Tutiuillus. I was youre chefe tollare, 
And sithen courte rollar, 
Now am I master lollar, 

And of sich men I melt me. 214 

I haue broght to youre hande / of sanies, dar I say, 
Mo than ten thowsand 1 / in an howre of a day ; 
som at ayH-howse I fande / and som of ferray, 
som cursid, som bande / som yei, som nay ; 

so many 219 

Thus broght I on blure, 
thus did I my cure, 
primus demon). Thou art the best sawgeoure 

that euer had I any. 223 

Tutiuillus. here a roH of ragman / of the rownde tabiH, 
Of breffies in my bag, man / of synnes dampnabiH; 
vnethes may I wag, man / for wery in youre stabiH 
Whils I set my stag, man. / 
secun<2us demon. abide, ye ar abiH 

To take wage ; 228 

Thou can of cowrte thew, 
Bot lay downe the dewe 
ff or thou will be a shrew, 

be thou com at age. 232 

Tutiuillus. here I be gesse / of many nyce hoket, 
Of care and of curstnes / hethyng and hoket, 
Gay gere and witles / his hode set on koket, 
As prowde as peraiyles / his slefe has no poket, 

ffuttredles; 237 

With thare hemmyd shoyn, 
AH this must be done, 
Bot syre is out at hye noyn) 

And his barnes bredeles. 241 

A home and a duch ax / his slefe must be flekyt, 
A syde hede and a fare fax / his gowne must be spekytt, 

i MS. XM1. 

Toivneley Plays. XXX. The Judgment. 375 

Thus toke I youre tax / thus ar my hodkys blekyt. He tells the 

m , i • i n . demons his 

primus demon. Thou art best on thi wax / that euer was name, Tuti- 

villus, and 
Clekyt, • talks gibber- 

. , . n ish in Latin. 

or knawen i 1 J4b 

with wordes wirl thou fiH vs, 
bot teH thi name tiH vs. 
Tutiuillus. Mi name is tutiuillus, 

my home is blawen ; 250 

ffragmina verbora???, / tutiullus colligit horwm, 
Belzabub algonm / belial beliim doliorwm. 

secuncftis demon. What, I se thou can of gramory / and 

som what of arte ; 
had I bot a peraiy / on the wold' I warte. 

Tutiuillus. Of femellys a quantite / here fynde I parte. He finds 
jprimus demon'. Tutiuillus , let se / goddi/s f orbot thou sparte ! women here. 
Tutiuillus. so Ioly 255 

Ilka las in a lande 
like a lady nerehande, 
So fresh and so plesande, 

makys men to foly. 259 

If she be neuer so fowrl a dowde / with hir kerles and hir They can 

pynnes, their ugli- 

The shrew hir self can shrowde / both hir' chekys and hir c ' 

ehynnes ; 
she can make it full prowde / with iapes and with gynnes, 
hir hede as hy as a clowde / bot no shame of hir synnes 

Thai fele ; 264 

When she is thus paynt, and make 

, , .. . themselves 

she maki/s it so quaynte, up to look 

, , , ,., . like saints, 

She lookys like a saynt, though 

And wars then the deyle. 268 SedeviL 11 


she is hornyd like a kowe / fon syn, 

The cuker hyngys so side now / furrid with a cat skyn, 

AH thise ar for you / thai ar coramen of youre kyn. 

£ecunc?us demon). Now, the best body art thou / that euer [Foi. 125, a. 

, ' Sig.V.l.] 

cam here in. 

1 MS. knowen. 


Tovmehy Plays. XXX. The Judgment. 

It is fashion- 
able for 
them to 
break their 

More than a 
false swear- 
ers shall 
come to hell, 

raisers of 
false taxes 
and gather- 
ers of green 

He must not 
forget the 
new fashion 
of padding 
the shoul- 
ders with 
moss and 

" Kirk- 
and lovers of 
simony he 
drags to hell 
out of the 

Tutiuillus. An vsage, 273 

swilk dar I vndertake, 

makys theym breke thare wedlake, 

And lif in syn for hir sake, 

And breke thare awne spowsage. 277 

yit a poynt haue I fon / I teH you before, 
That fals swerars shall hider com / mo then a thowsand 1 

skore ; 
In sweryng thai grefe godys son / and pyne hym more 

and more, 
Therfor mon thai with vs won / in hell for euer more. 

I say thus, 282 

That rasers of the fals tax, 
And gederars of greyn wax, 
Diabolus est menclax 

Et pater eius. 286 

yit a poynte of the new gett / to tett wiH I not blyn, 
Of prankyd gownes & shulders vp set / mos & fiokkys 

sewyd wyth in ; 
To vse sich gise thai wiH not let / thai say it is no syn, 
Bot on sich pilus I me set / and clap thaym cheke and 

no nay. 291 

dauid in his sawtere says thus, 
That to heH shaft thai trus, 
Cum suis adinuenczo?zibus, 

for onys and for ay. 295 

yit of thise kyrkchaterars / here ar a menee, 
Of barganars and okerars / and lufars of symonee, 
Of runkers and rowners / god castas thaym out, trulee, 
ffrom his temple aft sich mysdoers / 1 each thaym then to me 

ffiiH soyn ; 300 

ffor writen I wote it is 
In the gospell, withoutten mys, 
Et earn fecisto's 

Speluncam latronum. 304 

1 MS. M 1 . 

Towneley Plays. XXX. TJie Judgment. 377 

yit of the syrtnes seven 1 I som thyng speciaH Something 

J J ' ti special must 

now nately to neven / that renys ouer all ; be said too 

„-,.,,-, i • i / it • ii of the seven 

Thise ladd?/s thai leven / as iomys nan, deadly sins. 

At ee to be even / picturde in paH 

As kjngys ; 309 

May he dug hym a doket, 
A kodpese like a pokett, 
hym thynke it no hoket 

his tayH when he Wijngys. 313 

his luddokkys thai lowke / like walk-mylne cloggys, 
his hede is like a stowke / hurlyd as hoggys, 
A woH blawen bowke / thise ivyggys as fvoggys, 
This Ielian lowke / dryfys he no doggys 

To felter ; 318 

Bot with youre yolow lokkys, 
ffor all youre many mokkys, 
ye shall clym on heH cvokkys 

With a halpeny heltere. 322 


And neH With hir nyf yls / of crisp and of sylke, [Foi. 125, b.] 

Tent well youre twyfyls / youre nek abowte as mylke ; 
With youre bendys and youre bridyls / of sathan, the 

sir sathanas Idyls / you for tha ilke 

This giH knaue ; 327 

It is open behynde, 
before is it pynde, 
Bewar of the West wynde 

youre smok lest it wafe. 331 

Of Ire and of enuy / fynde I herto, Anger, envy, 

Of couetyse and glotony / and many other mo ; neIs,° US " 

Thai caH and thai cry / go we now, go ! g u ony ' 

I dy nere for dry / and ther syt thai so 

1 MS. vij. 


Towneley Plays. XXX. The Judgment. 

AH nyght ; 
With hawveH and IawveH, 
syngyng of lawveH, 
Thise ar hownd?/s of heH, 

That is thare right. 




Sloth that 
makes the 
wish the 
clerk hanged 
when the 
bells ring to 

whores, and 

liars, scolds, 
are all wel- 
come to hell. 

[FoL 126. r. 
Sig. V. 2.] 
The increase 
of the wicked 
made the 
first demon 
think the 
end was 

In slew the then thai syn / goddys wark?/s thai not Wyrke ; 
To belke thai begyn / and spew that is irke ; 
his hede must be holdyn / ther in the myrke, 
Then defies hym with dyn / the bellys of the kyrke, 

When thai clatter ; 345 

he wishys the clerke hanged? 1 
ffor that he rang it, 
Bot thar hym not lang it, 

What commys ther after. 349 

And ye laxiettys of the stewys / and lychoures on lofte, 
youre baiH now brewys / avowtrees full ofte, 
youre gam now grewys / I shaH you set softe, 
youre sorow enewes / com to my crofte 

AH ye; 
AH harlotta/s and horres, 
And bawdys that procures, 
To bryng thaym to lures, 

Welcom to my see ! 

ye lurdans and lyars / mychers and thefes, 
fflytars and flyars / that aH men reprefes, 
Spolars, extorcyonars / Welcom, my lefes ! 
ffals Iurars and vsurars / to symony that clevys, 

To teH ; 
hasardars and dysars, 
ffals dedys forgars, 
Slanderars, bakbytars, 

AH vnto heH. 





primus demon. When 
spytus and feH, 
And few good of ilke / I had merueH, 
I trowd it drew nere the prik. / 

1 The ryme needs "hangit.' 


many swilke / many 

Towneley Plays. XXX. The Judgment. 379 

/S'ecuncZus demon. sir, a worde of counseH ; Of late souls 

litive so 

sanies cam so thyk / now late vnto heH crowded to 

J ' 0>7 _ hell, that the 

Aseuer; 61 1 porter has 

Oure porter at heH yate worked. 

Is haldyn so strate, 

vp erly and downe late, 

he rystys neuer. 376 

primus demon. Thou art pereles of tho / that euer yit The two 

. T demons 

knew 1, make their 

when I WiH may I go / if thou be by ; Judgment 6 

r\ stkt j. i Hall, with 

GO We now, We two. / their rolls 

Secundus demon. syr, I am redy. 

primus demon. Take oure rolles also, / ye knawe the 
cause "Why • 
do com 381 

And tent welt this day. 
Secxmdus demon, sir, as weH as I may. 
Primus Demon. Qui vero mala 
In ignem eternum. 385 

iftesus. Ilka creatoure take tente , Jesus an- 

What bodworde I shall you bryng, advent as 

This wykyd warld* away is wente, tojudg^™ 6 

and I am commyn as crownyd kyng -, 389 

Mi fader of heuen has me downe sente, 

to deme youre dedys and make endyng ; 
Commen is the day of Iugemente, 

of sorrow may euery synfuH syng. 393 

The day is commen of catyfnes, The day is 

■n n ,, . -, come, a day 

an those to care that ar vncleyn, of dread and 

The day of bateH and bitternes, 

trull long abiden has it beyn ; 397 

The day of drede to more and les, 

of Ioy, of tremlyng, and of teyn, 
Ilka wight that wikyd is 

may say, alas this day. is seyn ! 401 

Tunc expandit manws suas & ostendit eis Wlnera sua. 



Towneley Plays. XXX. The Judgment. 

He shows 
the wounds 
by which He 
bought bliss 
for men. 

He recalls 
the scourg- 
ing, the 
cross, the 
crown of 
thorns, the 
spear that 

here may ye se my Wonndys wide 

that I suffred for youre mysdede, 
Thrugfr harte, hede, fote, hande and syde, 

not for my gilte bot for youre nede. 
Behald? both bak, body, and syde, 

how dere I boght youre broder-hede, 
Thise bitter paynes I wold? abide, 

to by you blys thus wold* I blede. 

Mi body was skowrgid? withoutten skiH, 

also ther furl throly was I thrett ; 
On crosse thai hang me on a hill, 

bio and blody thus was I bett ; 
With crowne of thorne thrastyn furl iH, 

A spere vnto my harte thai sett ; 
Mi harte blode sparid thai not to spiH. 

man, for thi luf wold? I not lett. 

The lues spytt on me spitusly, 

thai sparid? me no more then a thefe ; 
When thai me smote I stud stilly, 

agans thaym did I nokyns grefe. 
Beholde, mankynde, this ilk am I, 

that for the suffred sich myschefe, 
Thus was I dight 1 for thi foly, 

man, loke thi luf was me fuH lefe. 

[Pol. 126, b.] Thus was I dight thi sorow to slake ; 
man, thus behovid the borud* to be ; 
In aH my wo toke I no wrake, 
my wiH it was for luf of the. 
Man, for sorow aght the to qwake, 

this dredfuH day this sight to se ; 
AH this suffred I for thi sake. 

the con- 
tumely of 
the Jews 
and His own 


All this He 
suffered for 
man; what 
has man 
suffered for 







say ; 

man, What suffred' thou for me 1 



Tunc vertens se ad bows, dicit Mis. 

Toivneley Plays. XXX. The Judgment. 


Mi blissid barnes on my right hande, 

youre dome this day thar ye not drede, 
ffor ail youre ioy is now co??imande, 

youre life in likyng shall ye lede. 
Commes to the kyngdom ay lastand, 

That you is dight for youre good dede, 
ffuH blithe may ye be there ye stand, 

ffor mekitt in heuen bees youre mecle. 



The good 
are sum- 
moned to 

When I was hungre ye me fed*, 

To slek my thrist ye war fuH fre ; 
When I was clothles ye me cled*, 

ye Wold? no sorowe on me se ; 
In hard 1 prison When I was sted? 

On my penance ye had pyte ; 
ffuH seke when I was broght in bed, 

kyndly ye cam to comforth me. 



They have 
fed Hi in 
when He 
was hungry, 
slaked His 
Him, visited 
Him in 
prison and 

When I was wiH and weriest 

ye harberd me furl esely, 
fTuH glad then were ye of youre gest, 

Ye plenyd my pouerte fur! pitusly ; 
Belife ye broght me of the best, 

And maide my bed there I shuld* ly, 
Therfor in heuen sharl be youre rest, 

In ioy and blys to beld* me by. 


given Him 
shelter and 
sympathy ; 

they shall 
rest with 
.-„ Him in 
^ ' heaven. 

pxhnus bonus, lord, When had thou so mekiH nede ? 

hungre or thrusty, how myght it be ? 
#ecuncZus bonus. When was oure harte fre the to 

In prison When myght We the se *? 461 

Tercius bonus. When was thou seke, or wantyd wede ? 

To harbowre the when helpid we 1 
Quartus bonus. When had thou nede of oure f ordede ? 

when did we aH this dede to the ? 465 

When did 
they thus 
'Him? the 
good ask. 

[Fol. 127, a. 
Sig. V. 3.] 


Towneley Plays. XXX. The Judgment. 

Jesus tells 
them they 
Him in help- 
ing the 

He casts 
forth the 
wicked to 
dwell for 
ever in dole. 

Ihesus. Mi blissid barnes, I shaH you say 

what tyme this dede was to me done ; 
When any that nede had nyght or day, 

Askyd you help and had it sone ; 
youre fre harte saide theym neuer nay, 

Erly ne late, myd-day ne noyn, 
As ofte-sithes as thai wold 1 pray, 

Thai thurte hot aske and haue thare boyn. 

Tunc dicet malis. 

ye cursid* catyfs of kames kyn, 

That neuer me comforthid! in my care, 
Now I and ye for euer shall tvvyn, 

In doyH to dwell for euer mare ; 
youre bitter bayles shall neuer blyn 

That ye shall thole when ye com thare, 
Thus haue ye seruyd for youre syn, 

ffor derfe de&ys ye haue doyn are. 






Him froS ed When I nad myster of mete and drynke, 

their gate 
when He had 

Catyfs, ye chaste me from youre yate ; 
need of food; w h e n ye were set as syres on bynke 

I stode ther oute wery and Wate, 
yit none of you Wold 1 on me thynke, 

To haue pite on my poore astate ; 
Therfor to heH I shaH you synke, 

WeH ar ye worthy to go that gate. 



would not 
look how He 
fared in 
prison ; 
drove Him 
with blows 
from their 

When I was seke and soryest 

ye viset me noght, for I was poore ; 
In prison fast when I was fest 

wold! none of you loke how I foore ; 
When I wist neuer where to rest 

With dyntys ye drofe me from youre doore, 
Bot euer to pride then were ye prest, 

Mi flesh, my bloode, ye oft for-swore. 



Towneley Plays. XXX. The Judgment. 


Clothles, When that I was cold', 

That nerehande for you yode I nakyd, 
Mi myschefe sagfr ye many folde, 

Was none of you my sorowe slakyd ; 
Bot euer f orsoke me, yong and olde, 

Therfor shall ye now be forsakyd. 
(64) ' 
primus mains, lorde, when had thou, that aH has, 

hunger or thriste, sen thou god is 1 1 
When was that thou in prison was 1 

When was thou nakyd or harberles 1 
Secundus mains. When myght we se the seke, alas ! 

and kyd the aH this vnkyndnes 1 
iijus malus. When was we let the helples pas 1 

When dyd ye the this wikydnes 1 
m)'us malus. Alas, for doyH this day ! 

alas, that euer I it abode ! 
Now am I dampned for ay, 

this dome may I not avoyde. 
Ihesus. Catyfs, alas, ofte as it betyde 

that nedefuH oght askyd in my name, 
ye harde thaym noght, youre eeres was hid*, 

youre help to thaym was not at hame ; 
To me was that vnkyndnes kyd, 

therfor ye bere this bitter blame, 
To the lest of myne when ye oght dyd, 

to me ye dyd the self and same. 





[Fol. 127, b.} 

As they for- 
sook Him, so 
shall they 
now he for- 

When, they 
ask, have 
they shown 
Him this un- 
kindness ? 




(One begins 
his lament, 
ere he hears 
the answer.) 

Jesus tells 
them the 
they showed 
to the needy 
was shown 
to Him. - 

Tunc dicet bonis. 

Mi chosyn childer, co?mnes to me ! 

With me to dwell now shaH ye weynde, 
Ther ioy and blys euer shall be, 

youre life in lykyng for to leynde. 


He sum- 
mons the 
good to 
dwell with 
Him in bliss. 

Tunc dicet malis. 
1 Originally 'es,' no doubt. 

384 Towneley Plays. XXX The Judgment. 

The wicked 
are doomed 
to hell. 

ye warid Wighta/s, from me ye ne, 
In heH to dwell withoutten ende ! 

Ther shall ye noght bot sorow se, 
And sit bi sathanas the feynde. 


The devils 
begin to 
drive them. 

jprimus demon. Do now furthe go, 1 / trus, go we hyne ! 
vnto endles wo / ay-lastand pyne ; 
Nay, tary not 1 so / we get ado syne, 
secun^us demon, byte byder warde, bo / barry ruskyne ! 

War oute ! 536 

The meyn shall ye nebyH, 
And I shall syng the trebiH, 
A revant the devitt 

TiH aH this bole rowte. 540 

They may 
curse the day 
they were 

[Fol. 128, a. 
Sig. V. 4.] 


Where now 
are their 
gold, their 
retinue, and 
their finery ? 


Tutiuillus. youre lyfes ar lorne / and commen is youre 

ye may ban ye were borne / the bodes you bare, 
And youre faders beforne / so cursid* ye ar. 
primus demon), ye may wary the morne / and day that 
ye ware 
Of yonre moder 545 

ffirst borne forto be, 
ffor the wo ye mon dre. 
Secundns demon). Ilkone of you mon se 

sorow of oder. 549 

Where is the gold* and the good / that ye gederd togedir ? 
The mery menee that yode / hider and thedir ? 
Tutiuillus. Gay gyrdyls, iaggid hode / prankyd gownes, 

whedir 1 
haue ye wit or ye wode / ye broght not hider 

Bot sorowe, 554 

And youre synnes in youre nekkys. 
primus demon. I beshrew thaym that rekkys ! 
he comes to late that bekkys 

youre bodyes to borow. 558 

1 MS. go furthe. 

Toivneley Plays. XXX. The Judgment. 


They were 
sturdy and 
proud, find- 
ing faults in 
others and 
their own. 



braided their 



pouchers of 



and greedy. 


Secxmdus demon\ Sir, I Wold' cut thaym a skawte / 

and make theyto. be knawne ; 
Thay were sturdy and hawte / great boste haue thai 

blawne ; 
youre pride and youre pransawte / What wili it gawne % 
ye tolde ilk mans defawte / and forgate youre awne. 
Tutmillus. moreouer 

Thare neghburs thai demyd, 
Thaym self as it semyd, 
Bot now ar thai flemyd 

ffrom sayntys to recouer. 
primus demon). Thar neghburs thai towehid / With They up 

wordy s fuH iH, 
The warst ay thai sowchid /and had no skiU. 
sevmidus demon). The pe?znys thai powchid / and held? 

thaym stiH ; 
The negons thai mowchid / and had no wili 

ffor hart fare ; 572 

Bot riche and iH-dedy, 
Gederand and gredy, 
sore napand and nedy 

youre godys forto spare. 576 

Tutiuillus. ffor aH that ye spard / and dyd extorcyon, 
ffor youre childer ye card / youre heyre and youre son, 
Now is art in oureward / youre yeres ar ron, 
It is co??£inen in vowgard / youre dame malison, 

To bynde it ; 
ye set bi no cursyng, 
Ne no sich smarl thyng. 
primus demon. No, bot prase at the partyng, 

ffor now mon ye fynde it. 
youre leyfys and youre females / ye brake youre wedlake ; [Foi. 12s, b.] 
Terl me now what it vales / aH that mery lake 1 
se so falsly if- falys. / 

secuncZus demon. syr, I dar vndertake 

Thai wiH teH no tales / bot se so thai quake 

The wealth 
they laid up 
for their 
children is 
now in the 
devil's keep- 



They broke 
their wed- 
lock. What 
avails their 


C C 


Towneley Plays. XXX. The, Judgment. 

Now they ffor moton ; 

are quaking 

and dumb, ne that to that gam gose, 

Now namely on old? tose. 
Tutiuillus. Thou held? vp the lose, 
That had I forgotten. 



They shall 
dwell in 
pitch and 
tar, with no 

j?rimus demon, sir, I trow thai be dom / somtyme were 

fuH melland ; 
WiH: ye se how thai glom. / 
secundus demon, thou art ay telland; 

Now shall thai haue rom / in pyk aud tar euer dwelland, 
Of thare sorow no some / bot ay to be yelland 

In oure fostre. 599 

Tutiuillus. By youre lefe may We mefe you 1 
primus demon, showe furth, I shrew you ! 
>Sccuik7us demon, yit to-nyght shall I shew you 

A mese of iH ostre. 603 

The devils 
carry them 
off, with 


cursid forsworne 

/ and aft that 

Tutiuillus. Of thise 

here leyndys, 
Blaw, wolfr/s-hede and oute-horne / now namely my 

primus demon. Ilia haift were ye borne / youre awne 

shame you shcynctys, 
That shaH ye fynde or to morne. / 
secundus demon. com now with iejndys 

To youre angre ; 608 

youre de&ys you dam ; 
Com, go we now sam, 
It is common youre gam, 

Com, tary no lauge?\ 


primus bonus. We loue the, lorde, in alkyn thyng, 

That for thyne awne has ordancl thus, 
That we may haue now oure dwellyng 

In heuen blis giffen vnto vs. 616 

Toivncley Plays. XXXI. Lazarus. 

Therfor fuH boldly may we syng 
On oure way as we trus ; 

Make we aH myrtn" and louyng 
With te deu??i laudamus. 


Explicit Indicium. 


The right- 
eous give 
thanks to 


Incipit Lazarus. 

[47 couplets ; 4 ten-line stanzas, aaaa 1 bbbc be; 1 nine-line (no. rF i 12 9 j a ] 
11), aaaa bbc be; 7 eight-line, four ab ab ab ab, two abab 
bebe, one ab ab ba ba ; 3 six-line, aaab ab ; 1 five-line, aab 

[Dramatis Pcrsonae. 

Jesus. \ Johannes. Martha. Lazarus.] 

Pctrus. | Thomas. | Maria. \ 


j%esus. Commes now, brethere, and go Witn" me ; 
We Will pas furtfr vntiH Iude, 
To betany wiH we Weynde, 2 

To vyset lazare that is oure freynde. 2 4 

Gladly I wold? we with hym speke, 
T tell you sothely he is seke. 
petrus. I red? not that 1 ye thider go, 

The lues halden you for thare fo ; 8 

I red ye com not in that stede, 
ffor if ye do then be ye dede. 
Ioh&nnes. Master, trist thou [not] on the Iue, 
ffor many day sen thou thaym knewe, 1 2 

And last tyme that we were thore 
We wenyd tilt haue bene ded* therfor. 
Thomas. When we were last in that 1 contre, 
This othere day, both thou and we, 16 

Jesus pro- 
poses to go 
to Bethany 
to visit 
Lazarus, who 
is ill. 

Peter, John, 
and Thomas 
Him for fear 
of the Jews. 

1 The aaaa lines have central rymes markt here with bars (not in 
the MS). 

2 These lines are transposed in the MS. , and the letters a and b are 
placed opposite them in the margin to indicate their proper order. 


Towneley Plays. XXXI. Lazarus. 

Jesus tells 
them Lazar- 
us is fallen 
asleep ; they 
must go to 
make that 
If he sleep 
he will mend, 

[Pol. 129, b.] 

Jesus tells 
them plainly 
Lazarus is 

Thomas says 
the disciples 
will share 
Jesus' peril 
and go with 

Martha tells 
Jesus Lazar- 
us is dead. 

He shall rise 
and live 
again, Jesus 

Yes, at 

Jesus says, 
' ' I am the 
and the 

We wenyd that thou ther shuld haue bene slayn ; 

Will thou now go thicle?* agane % 

Ihesus. herkyn, breder, and takys kepe ; 

lazare oure freynde is fallyn on slepe ; 20 

The way tiH hym now wiH we take, 

To styr that knyght and gar hym wake. 

petrus. Sir, me thynke it were the best 

To let hym slepe and take his rest ; 24 

And kepe that no man com hym hend, 

nor if he slepe then mon he mend. 

Ihesus. I say to you, With outten faytf, 

JSTo kepyng may tiH hym avaitt, 28 

ISTe slepe may stand hym in no stede, 

I say you sekerly he is dede ; 

Therfor I say you now at last 1 

leyfe this speche and go we fast. 32 

Thomas. Sir, What so euer ye bid vs do 

We assent vs weH ther to ; 

I hope to god ye shaH not fynde 

None of vs shall lefe behynde ; 36 

rfor any pareH that may befali 

Weynde we With oure master aH. 

Martha, help me, lorde, and gif me red ! 

lazare my broder now is dede, 40 

That was to the both lefe and dere ; 

he had not dyed had thou bene here. 

Ihesus. Martha, martha, thou may be fayn, 

Thi bro there shaH rise and lif agayn. 44 

Martha, lorde, I wote that he shaH ryse 

And com before the good iustyce ; 

ffor at the dredfutt day of dome 

There mon ye kepe hym at his come, 48 

To loke What dome ye WiH hym gif ; 

Then mon he rise, then mon he lyf. 

Ifiesus. I Warne you, both man and wyfe, 

That I am rysyng, and I am life ; 52 

And Whoso truly trowys in me, 

That I was euer and ay shaH be, 

Oone thyng I shaft hym gif, 

Though he be dede yit shaH he lif. 56 

T&ioneley Plays. XXXL Lazarus. 


say thou, Woman, trowys thou this % 

Martha, yee, for sothe, my lorde of blys, 

Ellys were I greatly to mysprase, 

ffor aH is sothe-fast that thou says. 

Ihesus. Go teli thi sister mawdlayn 

That I com, ye may be fayn. [Martha goes to 

Martha. Sister, lefe this sorowful bande, 

Oure lorde commys here at hawdr, 

And his apostyls with hym also. 

Maria. A, for god?/s luf let me go ! 

Blissid* be he that sende me grace, 

That I may se the in this place. 

lorde, mekiri sorow may men se 

Of my sister here and me ; 

We ar heuy as any lede, 

ffor our broder that thus is dede. 

had thou bene here and on hym sene, 

dede for sothe had he not bene. 

Ihesus. hider to you commen we ar 

To make you comforth of youre care, 

Bot loke no fayntyse ne no slawtfi. 

Bryng you oute of stedfast 1 trawthe, 

Then shali I hold? you that I saide. 

lo, where haue ye his body laide 1 

Maria, lorde, if it be thi WiH, 

I hope be this he sauers iH, 

ffor it is now the ferth 1 day gone 

sen he Was laide vnder yonde stone. 

Ihesus. I told* the right now ther thou stode 

that thi trawth shuld* ay be goode, 

And if thou may that fulfiH: 

AH bees done right at thi wilt. 









and is 
bidden to 
fetch her 

[Fol. 130, a.] 

Mary tells 
Jesus of 
their sorrow. 

Jesus is 
come to 
7 6 comfort 

80 He asks 
where the 
body is laid. 

Et lacnmatus est ihesus, dicens. 

ffader, I pray the that thou rase 

lazare that was thi hyne, 
And bryng hym oute of his mysese 

And oute of heH pyne. 

1 MS. iiij. 

Jesus prays 
to the Father 
for Lazarus. 



Toivneley Plays. XXXI. Lazarus. 

Let his days 
be in- 

He bids 
come forth, 
and be 
stripped of 
his grave- 

thanks to 
Jesus, for 
raising him 
from hell. 

Not the 
mightiest on 
earth, king 
or knight, 
can escape 

When I the pray thou says aH wayse 

Mi witt is sich as thyne, 
Therfor WiH we now eke his dayse, 

To me thou wiH inclyne. 


Com furth, lazare, and stand vs by, 
In erth shaH thou no langerc ly ; 
Take and lawse hym foote and hande, 
And from his throte take the bande, 
And the sudary take hym fro, 
And aH that gere, and let hym go. 


lazarus. lorde, that aH thyng maide of noght, 

louyng be to thee, 
That sich Wonder here has Wroght, 

Gretter may none be. 
When I was dede to heH I soght, 

And thou, thrugh thi pauste, 
Kasid me vp and thens me broght, 

Behold and ye may se. 


Ther is none so styf on stede, 

Ne none so prowde in prese, 
Ne none so dughty in his dede, 

Ne none so dere on deese, 
No kyng, no knyght, no Wight in wede, 

ffrom dede haue maide hym seese, 
JSTe flesh he was wonte to fede, 

It shaH be Wormes mese. 







[Fol. 130, b. 


youre dede is Wormes coke, 
youre myrroure here ye loke, 
And let me be youre boke, 

youre sampiH take by me ; 122 

ffro dede you cleke in cloke, 

sich shaH ye aH be. 124 

Ilkon in sich aray / With dede thai shaH be dignt, 
And closid colde in clay / Wheder he be kyng or knyght ; 

Townelcy Plays. XXXI. Lazarus. 391 

ffor aH his garmontes gay / that semoly were in sight, For ail their 

his flesh shaH frete away / With many a wofuH wight. 128 SKrflMh*' 
Then wo fully sieh wightys eaten away. 

ShaH gnawe thise gay knyghtys, 
Thare lunges and thare lightys, 

Thare harte shaH frete in sonder ; 132 

Thise masters most of myghtys 

Thus shaH thai be broght vnder. 134 


Vnder the erthe ye shaH / thus carefully then cowche ; They shall 

The royfe of youre haH / youre nakyd nose shaH towche ; hail that 

Nawther great 1 ne smaH / To you wiH knele ne crowche ; nose^haii 

A shete shaH be youre paH / sich todys shaH be youre roof, for e 

nowcbe; 138 sEand* 

Todys shaH you dere, | e J d e ^ or 

ffeyndys wiH you fere, 
youre flesh that fare was here 

Thus rufully shaH rote ; 
In stede of fare colore 

sich band?/s shaH bynde youre throte. 144 


youre rud that was so red / youre lyre the lylly lyke, They shall 

Then shaH be wan as led / and stynke as dog in dyke ; dead dogs, 
Wormes shaH in you brede / as bees dos in the byke, breed in 

And ees out of youre hede / Thus-gate shaH paddok?/s pick'out a 3 
pyke; 148 theireyes ' 

To pike you ar preste 
Many vncomly beest, 
Thus thai shaH make a feste 

Of youre flesh and of youre blode. 
ffor you then sorows leste 

The moste has of youre goode. 154 


youre goody s ye shaH forsake / If ye be neuer so lothe, They may 
And nothing With you take / Bot sich a wyndyng clothe • ££ thlm lg 
youre Wife sorow shaH slake / youre chylder also both, w^mg 1 
vnnes youre mynnyng make / If ye be neuer so wrothe ; 158 sheet ' 
Thai myn you with nothyng 
That may be youre helpyng, 


Wife and 
children will 
forget them 
and pay for 
no masses 
for their 

[Fol. 131, a.] 

Trust not 
friend, wife, 
or child ; 
are always 

Let them 
amend while 
they may. 

When they 
are dead it 
will be too 
late ; no 
wealth may 
save them 

The rich 
wealth be- 
longs to 

Towneley Plays. XXXI. Lazarus. 

Nawther in mes syngyng, 

Ne yit with almus dede ; 
Therfor in youre leuyng 

Be wise and take good hede. 164 


Take hede for yon to dele / Whils ye ar on life, 
Tmstneuer freynd?/s frele l / Nawthere of childe then wife; 
ffor sectures ar not lele / Then for yonre good WiH stryf e ; 
To by youre saules hele / There may no man thaym 
shrife. . 168 

To shrife no man thaym may, 
After youre endyng day, 

youre sauH for to glad? ; 
youre sectures wiH swere nay, 

And say ye aght more then ye had. 173 

(12) " 

Amende the, man, Whils thou may, 

let neuer no myrthe fordo thi mynde ; 
Thynke thou on the dredefuH day 

When god shall deme arl mankynde. 177 

Thynke thou farys as dothe the wynde ; 
This warlde is wast & wiH away ; 

Man, haue this in thi mynde, 
And amende the Whils that thou may. 181 

Amende the, man, whils thou art here, 

Agane thou go an othere gate ; 
When thou art dede and laide on bere, 

Wyt thou weH thou bees to late ; 185 

ffor if art the goode that euer thou gate 
Were delt for the after thi day, 

In heuen it wolde not mende thi state, 
fforthi amende the Whils thou may. 189 

If thou be right ryaH in rente, 

As is the stede standyng in stall, 
In thi harte knowe and thynke 2 

That thai ar goddys goody s aH. 193 

1 These words, "Trust neuer fteyndys frele," are hardly legible. 
3 The assonance wants "tlienke." 

Towneley Plays. XX XII. The Hanging of Judas. 393 

he myght haue maide the poore and small 
As he that heggys fro day to day ; 

and must be 



Wit thou weft acoimt?/s gif thou shaft, 

Therfore amende the whils thou may. 



And if I myght with you dwelt 

Lazarus has 
heard and 

To teft you aft my tynie, 

seen many a 

ffuft mekift cowthe I teft 

That I haue harde and sene, 


Of many a great merueft, 

sich as ye wolde not wene, 

In the paynes of heH 

There as I haue bene. 



Bene I haue in wo, 
Therf or kepe you ther fro ; 

Let them be 

warned by 
his suffer- 

"Whilst ye lif do so 


If ye wiH dwell with hym 

That can gar you thus go, 

And hele you litrl and lym. 



he is a lorde of grace, 

Vmthynke you in this case, 

And pray hym, fuft of myght, 

and pray to 
the gracious 

he kepe you in this place 

And haue you in his sight. 


Lord for 


Explicit Lazarus. 


Suspencio Iude. 1 

[Incomplete ; 16 six-line stanzas, aaab ab.] 

[Fol. 131, b.l 


[Judas.] Alas, alas, & walaway ! 


waryd & cursyd I have beyn ay ; 


1 This poem is added in a more modern hand than the others, 
apparently about the commencement of the sixteenth century. 

His father's 
name was 
Beuben, his 

When he 
was be- 
gotten his 
that there 
lay in her 
side a lump 
of sin which 
destroy all 

394 Tovmeley Plays. XXXII. The Hanging of Judas. 

I slew my father, & syn by-Lay 

My moder der ; 
And falsly, aftur, I can betray 

Myn awn) mayster. 6 


My fathers name was ruben, right ; 
Sibaria my moder hight ; 
Als he her knew apon a nyght 

Ail fleshle, 
In her sleyp she se a sighte, 

A great ferle. 1 2 


her thoght ther lay her syd wz't/i-in 

A lothly lumpe of fleshly syn, 

Of the which distruccion schuld begyn 

Of aH Iury ; 
That Cnrsy4 Clott of Camys kyn, 

fforsoth, was I. 18 


Dreyd of that sight mad her awake, 

& ail hir body did tremyH & qwake ; 
her thoght hir hert did all to-brake — 

No wonde?" was — 
the first[e] word my moder spake 

was alas, alas ! 24 


Alas, alas ! sche cryed faste, 

•with that, on weping owt sche braste : 

My father wakyd? at the laste, 

& her afranyd ; 
Sche told hym how she was agaste, 

& nothyng 1 laynyd? r 30 

my father bad, " let be thy woo ! 
my Cowncel is, if hit be soo, 
A child be gettyn betwixt hus too, 

Doghter or son, 
lett hit neuer on erth[e] go, 

Bot be fordon. 36 

She told his 
father her 

and he re- 
solved that 
if a child 
were born 
he should be 

Towneley Plays. XXXII. The Hanging of Judas, 395 

bettur hit is fordon) to be 
then hit fordo both the & me ; 
ffor in a while then schaH we se, 

& fuH weii knaw, 
wheder that swevyns be vanite 

or on) to traw." 

The tyme was comyn that I was borne, 
os my moder sayd beforn ; 
Alas, that I had beyn forlorn 

With-Jn hir syd ! 
for ther then spronge a sehrewid thorn) 

That spred fuH wyd. 


for I was born with owtyn grace, 
Thay me namyd & Callyd Indas ; 
The father of the child ay hays 

Great petye ; 
He myght not thoyle afor his face 

My deth to se. 


My ded to se then myght he noght ; 
A lytyH lep he gart be wroght, 
& ther I was in bed [i-]broght 

& bondon faste ; 
To the salt se then thay soght, 

& In me Caste. 


The wawes rosse, the wynd[e] blew ; 
That I was Cursyd fuH well thai knew ; 
The storme vnto the yle me threw, 

That ly till botte ■ 
And of that land my to-name drew, 

Iudas skariott. 


Thor os wrekke in sand I lay, 

The qweyn Com passyng ther away, 

With hir madyns to sport & play ; 




They would 
soon know 
if dreams 
were vain or 


Judas was 


His father 
would not 
have him 
killed in his 

but had him 
cast into the 

The waves 
and wind 
rose, and 
the storm 
threw him 
on the isle 
whence he 
was called 

396 Toivnelcy Plays. XX XI J. The Hanging of Judas. 

The queen 
found him 
there as she 
came to play 
with her 

and passed 
him off on 
the king as 
her own son. 

The king 
made a 

Two years 
the queen 
bore a fair 

And prevaly 
A child she fond in slyk aray, 

& had ferly. 

Neuer-the-lesse sche was weH payd, 
And on hir lap[pe] sche me layd ; 
Sche me kissid & with me playd, 

ffor I was fayre ; 
" A child god hays me send," sche sayd, 

" to be myn ayre." 

Sche mad me be to norice done, 
And fosterd as her awn[e] sone, 
And told the kyng that sche had gone 

AH the yer witJi child ; 
And with fayr word?/s, as Werner Con, 

sche hym begild. 

Then the kyng gart mak a fest 
To aH the land [right] of the best, 
ffor that he had gettyn) a gest, 

A swetly thyng 1 , 
When he wer ded & broght to rest, 

that myght be kyng 1 . 

Sone aftur with in yer[e]s too, 
In the land hit befeH: soo, 
The qweyn hir selff with child Can goo ; 

A son sche bayr ; 

A fayrer child? from tope to too 

Man neuer se ayre. 
* * * * 






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['Z68I 'IXXI 'w^dg vjbpcg; ^sdvj^ fivpuoioj; , ■ 0? suoipippy] 



Abarsttr, 340/73, more abashed, 
ashamed : for Abaistir. 

Abast, 43/90, abashed, frightened, 

Abate, 233/ 157, humble (oneself). 

Abite, I8/323, pay for, expiate. 

Abone, 27/146, above. 

Aby, I25/272, pay for : see Abite. 

Adyll, 261/ioi, earn ; Adyld, 234/199, 

Affy, 312/192, trust. 

Afranyd, 394/28, questioned. 

A«;ast, 3/184, terrified. 

Aghe, 339/45, awe. 

Aght, 13/150, possessions; 15/2IO, 
289/324 ; eight (also eighth) ; 18/ 
314, owed. 

Algatis, 14/i66, by all ways,- at all 

Alod, 24/56, requited. 

Alowed, 17/296, allotted, requited. 

Als, I7/296, as, also. 

Amell, 6G/69, among : see Ernell. 

Amese, 234/i85, quiet, appease. 

Apartly, 345/192, Apertly, openly, 

Aperd, 370/ 100, appear. 

Appech, 12/85, accuse. 

Appentys, 287/245, appertains, be- 

Arament, 238/320, arrayment, prepar- 

A-rase, 245/71, at full speed. 

Arayde, 46/207, afflicted, slain. 

Architreclyn, 248/152, ruler of the 
feast (mistaken for a proper name). 

Are, I0O/320, 158/569, before. 

Ars, kis myne, 11/59- 

Ascry, 232/135, proclaim, denounce. 

Asell, 314/270, vinegar. 

Askaunce, 2O/401, 239/353, a joke, 
a make-believe : see Skawnce. 

Assay, 100/ 13, trial, test. 

Asse, 68/139, ask. 

As <yse, 291/379, appoints. 

Ast, 24O/389, asked : see Hast. 

At-lo\ve, 158/572, below, on earth. 

Avaylys, I79/452 ; Avayll, I78/403, 
benefits, vails, incomings. 

Avowtre, 231/98, adultery. 

Awe, 28/171, owest, ought. 

Aw-where, 282/123, anywhere. 

Awnter, 227/735, adventure. 

Awre, I27/364 ; Awro, 119/ni, any- 
where. The sense seems to require 
awte = aught, anything. 

Awth, 330/i66. Can it be O.N. auS-r, 
idle, empty. 

Babyshed, 94/292, scoffed at. 

Baill, 27O/403 ; Bale, 51/52, destruc- 
tion, misfortune. 

Balk, II8/49, ridge in a field. 

Baly, 247/146, jurisdiction. 

Ban, H/59, curse. 

Bane, 99/53, ready, obedient servant. 

Bard, 32/328, barred, shut up. 

Barett, 196/31, strife, debate, trouble. 

Barme, 69/i66, bosom. 

Barnes, 32/308, children. 

Barne-teme, 54/74, brood of children. 

Bast, 3IO/131, = baist, abashed (?) 

Bayle, 23/26, hell-fire ; Bayll, 32/31 1, 
destruction, misfortune : see Baili. 

Bayles, 2O/405, bailiffs. 

Bayn, 2O/397, quickly ; 32/308, ready, 

Be, I82/43, by the time that. 

Bedeyn, 15/222, at once, at the same 

Beete, 57/23, amend, heal. 

Behete, 36/430, promised. 

Belamy, 84/i88, fair friend. 

B.dife, IO/37 ; Belyf, 83/156, quickly. 

Belke, 378/342, belch. 

Bemys, 62/199, trumpets. 

Benste, H8/55, benedicite. 

Bent, I2O/142, field. 

Benyson, 49/6, blessing. 

Bere, 66/79, bear, carry ; 1 29/405. noise. 


Glossarial Index. 

Besele, 3O/240, busily, earnestly. 

Beshers, 78/ 1, fair sirs ; Bewshere, 
I74/273, ^ r sir - 

Be-stode cede, 340/74, was in need, 

Bet, 46/ 1 86, beaten. 

Betaght, 15/211, given up to, assigned 

Betake, 2I/440, assign, commit. 

Bete, 259/36, mend, remedy. 

Be-tell, 26O/79, conquer, deceive (?) 

Beyde, 66/78, command, proclaim. 

Bey id, 158/5 76, se ek protection ; 158/ 
581, protection, shield, comfort. 

Beyldyng, 143/93, comfort, encourage- 
ment ; I67/35, shelter, dwelling. 

Beyll, 197/72, relieve, remove: see 

Beyr, 3OO/230, noise : see Bere. 

Beys, I68/62, is. 

Beytter, 32/311, mender, healer. 

Biggid, 372/8o, built. 

Bike, 49/4, nest, hive. 

Blan, 307/52, ceased : see Blyn. 

Ble, I63/109, colour, complexion. 

Blekyt, 375/244, blacked. 

Bio, 35/413, blue-black, livid. 

Blome, 6O/130, bloom, flower. 

Blowre, 74/307, blisters (?) 

Blowys, 81/94,talk, proclaim, publish. 

Blure, 374/220, destruction (?), damn- 

Blyn, I8/324, stop, cease : see Blan. 

Bob, 139/718, bunch. 

Bodworde, 69/145, 195/27, message. 

Bollars, 29I/374, drunkards. 

Bolne, 237/281, swell. 

Bon, 24O/390, bound. 

Bondon, 59/io2, disposition, dis- 

Bone, 72/240, petition, boon : see 

Boote, 346/203, remedy, redress : see 

Borghe, 277/6o8, pledge, surety : see 

Borod, 22I/554, ransomed, saved. 

Boroo, 184/ioo, ransom, save. 

Borow, 29/204, Pledge, security. 

Borud, 38O/427, ransomed, saved : see 

Bowke, 377/3i6, belly, paunch. 

Bowne, 104/ 129, prepared. 

Bowrde, II5/482, jest. 

Bowrdend, I88/56, jesting. 

Boyne, I4/183, petition^ prayer: see 

Boyte, I9/376 ; IO8/247, remedy, re- 
dress, use. 

Brade, 25/91, swell; 23/21, moment of 
time, jiffey ; I68/76, boasted ; 273/ 
488, trouble. 

Bradyng, 243/7, onset. 

Bragance, H7/34, bragging, boasting. 

Brail, 167/3 1, brawl, cry out. 

Brand, 78/5, sword. 

Brast, 3I/264, burst. 

Brayde, 225/664, stratagem, deceit; 
Brayde, of, 166/153, are like, re- 

Brede, 2/20, breadth. 

Brefe, I5I/342, letter, official docu- 

Breme, 237/290, fierce, furious. 

Bren, 14/ 180, burn. 

Brend, H/73, Brent; burnt. 

Brere, 282/91 ; Brerys, 15/202, briars, 

Bressed, 256/371, bruised. 

Brestyn, 276/589, burst, p.p. 

Brith, I66/3, birth. 

Brodell, I0O/315, wretch. 

Browes, 21/417, broth, stew. 

Browke, 14/ 186, use. 

Brude, 124/237, offspring, children (?) 

Bruet, 50/24, broth. 

Brymly, 368/33, fiercely. 

Bryssyng, 204/9, bruising, breaking : 
see Bressed, Bursyd. 

Bryst, I36/629, burst. 

Bun, 4/66, bound. 

Bursyd, I6I/34, bruised. 

Busk, I67/31, prepare; I67/35, set 
out, depart. 

Bustus, 235/213, rough, boisterous, 

Buxom, 96/336, obedient. 

By, I26/330, pay for : see Aby, Abite. 

Byched, 24/325, cursed. 

Bydeyn, 22/157, at once : see Bedeyn. 

Byg, 22/i82, build. 

Bygyng, 19/91, building. 

Byke, 31/147, hive. 

Byll-hagers, IO2/57, men who hack 
with bills. 

Bynke, 3O/464, bench. 

Byr, 3/371, rush. 

Byrdyng, 96/345, playing, jesting (see 
95/302), supposed adultery ; or is it 
' little bird,' child (?) 

Glossarial Index. 


Byrkyn, 168/63, break. 

Can, 2/338, know. 

Carls, 7O/205, rustics. 

Carpe, 4/115, talk. 

Casbald, 255/351, a term of reproach. 

Catyfdam, 184/ioi, caitifdom, the 
devil, hell. 

Catyfnes, 266/271, wickedness. 

Cautelys, 208/ 144, tricks. 

Cele, 134/558, happiness: see Ceyll. 

Cely, 2W/323, good, innocent. 

Certis, 46/191, certainly. 

Ceyll, 133/523, bliss, happiness. 

Charge, 8/404, load, prepare. 

Charys, I26/304, pieces of work, jobs. 

Chase, 59/85, chose. 

Chefe, I23/398, succeed. 

Cheftance, 245/82, chieftains. 

Chepe, lyght, I6/236 ; I2I/170, easy, 
cheap bargain. 

Chere, 40/ 18, countenance. 

dies, 3I/281 ; Chese, 27/129, rows (see 
Chess in Diet.). 

Chese, 253/315, chose. 

Chevich, 274/514, bargain, deal. 

Chuff er, 259/31 (?), boaster (Jesus). 

Claryfy, 36I/249, proclaim, make 
famous : see Cleryfy. 

Cleke, 390/123, seize (?) 

Clekyt, 375/245, hatched (?) 

Clerge, II2/389 ; Clerge[te], IO7/240, 

Cleryfy, 8O/65, proclaim, preach, tell. 

Cloke, 390/123, claw (?) 

Cloute, 33/353, patch, mend. 

Cloysse, 247/125, clothes. 

Clyfe, 95/308, cliff (?) 

Clynke, 262/135, clench. 

Clyppys, 390/124, eclipse. 

Cod, IOI/22, bag, pillow. 

Coke, 396/119, cook. 

Cokkers, 291/374, fighters. 

Cokys, 239/355, cocks. 

Colke, 338/43, core. 

Colknyfys, 102/5 7, cabbage-knives. 

Combred, 285/i89, 321/5o8, encum- 
bered, entangled (?) 

Conandly, 189/ 104, wisely, suitably. 

Condyth, I55/482, conduct. 

Copyn, Kyng, 233/ 166, King Empty- 
skein (?) 

Coth, 35/417, disease. 

Couandys (better Conandys), 222/586, 
covenants, agreements. 

Couth, 269/373, known, familiar. 

Couth, 66/68 ; Cowth, 37/473, could. 

Cowche, II5/478, lie down. 

Cowll, 24I/405, swelling, weal. 

Cowrs, 286/225, course, way. 

Coyle, 2I/425 ; Coyll, 34/389, pottage 
(should be cayll) ; 5/136 coal. 

Crate, 242/427, decrepit man (?) 

Craw, I8/311, crow. 

Croft, 239/355, field. 

Cronyng, 2#l/67, crooning, moaning. 

Crop, II5/470, top, head. 

Crumpe, 370/no, cramp. 

Cryb, 107/2O8, put in a crib (?) 

Cuker, 375/270, coker, kiud of half- 
boot or gaiter. 

Cutt, 273/5o8, lot (draw lots). 

Dall, I39/733, hand ; Dalles, 373/ 187 ; 

Dais, 37I/136, hands. 
Dam, 249/i86; 236/248, condemn. 
Dampnabill, 234/198, deserving of 

Dang, 314/274, beat. 
Dangere, 71/225, control, dominion. 
Dare, I63/83, lie hid. 
Darfe, 367/ 1, hard, heavy. 
Dase, 32/314, am dazed, stupefied, 

Daunche, I8I/509, fastidious (?) 
Daw, 3O/247, (?) melancholy, sluggard. 
Dawes, 196/55 ; Dayes, 55/ioi, 

Dayde, 234/ 18 5, brought to trial (at an 

appointed day) (?) 
Daynteth, 294/55, dignity, importance. 
Dede, 7/203, death. 
Dedir, 32/314 (Yorkshire 'dither'), 

shiver, tremble. 
Deese, 390/ii4, dai's. 
Des, 5/i2i ; Desse, 286/231 ; Deese, 

39O/114; Dese, 245/64; dais, 

Defend, 86/6, forbid. 
Defly, II9/109, deafly. 
Deill, I6/247, bit, morsel. 
Dele, 13/137, share, divide. 
Delf, 66/79, delve, dig. 
Delfe, 276/575, grave. 
Deine, 4/113, judge. 
Dere, 32/317, harm, injury. 
Derfe, 382/481, hard, cruel. 
Derly, II7/389, grievously. 
Dern, 373/2oo, secret, hidden. 
Dernly, I68/69, secretly, quietly. 


Glossarial Index. 

Determyd, 348/251, ended. 

Devere, 32/319, duty. 

Dewe, 374/230, list (of fools). 

Deyde, 66/80, deeds, work. 

Deyle, 15/213 ; Deyll, 15/205, share, 

give : see Dele and Deill. 
Deyle, 375/268, devil. 
Distance, 24/57, disagreement, dis- 
Dit, I7/280; Dytt, 233/178, shut, 

Ditizance doutance, 111/iyi. 
Doket, 377/3IO, (?) rag, clout, or (?) 

little tail. 
Dold, 31/266, dulled, grown dull. 
Dom, 207/109, doom, sentence. 
Done, 92/228, place, put. 
Donnyng, IO/32, dun_mare(?), cp. 'Dun 

is in the myre.' 
Dos, I9/360, dost, puttest. 
Dote, 3I/265, foolish person, dotard. 
Dotty-pols, I73/231, crazy-heads. 
Dowde, 375/26o, slut. 
Dowse, I24/246, harlot. 
Doyll, 34/390, dole, portion ; 74/302, 

grief, mourning. 
Doyn, 382/481, done. 
Doyse, 4/ no, dost. 
Drake, 312/221, dragon. 
Dray, 57/ 14, draw, withdraw. 
Dre, 11 8/65, endure. 
Drjch, 326/20, harass, afflict. 
Drely, IO8/245, long, deeply. 
Dres, 3O/238, direct one's course, go ; 

245/65, prepare, order, direct. 
Drogh, 6/155, drew, betook himself. 
Duch ax, 374/242, Dutch axe. 
Dug, 377/3IO cut (?) 
Dughtyesr, I75/294, doughtiest. 
Dujfull, 7/203, dolefull. 
Dustardys, 285/ 10, dastards, stupid 

Dwere, 364/342, perplexity. 
Dwill, 12/89, devil 
Dwillis, H/63, devil's. 
Dwyrd, 348/252, destroy (?) 
Dyght, 39/543, prepared, disposed. 
Dyke. 66/79, ditch. 
Dyll, 163/8o, render dull, assuage. 
Dyllydowne, 135/6o9, pet, darling. 
Dyng, 77/4io, beat, strike. 
Dyntand, 28O/54, riding. 
Dysars, 29I/373, dicers. 
Dyscry, 243/8; Dyscryfc, 345/ 180, 


Dysseferance, 343/144, separation, 

Dytt, 233/178, stopt. 

Edder, 86/25, serpent. 

Eft, 36/241, afterwards, again. 

Eld, 62/189, age. 

Erne, 51/59, uncle. 

Emell, 65/34, among. 

Encense, v.t. I72/198, incense. 

Encheson, 44/133, occasion, cause. 

Endoost, 196/48, protected. 

Endorde, IO7/234, glazed, gilded. 

Enfray, 308/71, affray. 

Enys, 225/66i, once. 

Ernes, I5O/303, earnest. 

Eschele, 55/115, troop. 

Ethe, 232/i4i, easily. 

Everychon, 4I/43, each or every 

Examynyng, sb. 235/235, examination. 
Excusyng, sb. 94/294. 

Faed, 269/363, withered. 

Fageyng, 287/252, flattery. 

Fames, 92/213, makes known. 

Fand, 69/164, found. 

Fang, 3O/245, take h°ld of, take. 

Fare, IO/32, on, pull. 

Farenes, 235/217, fairness, justice. 

Farly, 56/3, wonderfully. 

Farlys, 294/53, wonders. 

Fame, 149/27 1, fared, got on: see 

Fame, I33/533, laboured, borne a 

Fature, 71/226, traitor, deceiver, 

Faund, 47/219, found. 
Fawchon, 288/274, falchion. 
Fawte, 229/55, default, want. 
Fax, 374/243, hair. 
Fayn, 45/ 175, joyful. 
Fayntyse, 389/77, cowardice, languor. 
Fay re, 1 8/308, go, fare. 
Featte, 287/252, doings 
Fee, II/76, proper Ly, 'corn or cattle'; 

66/62, cattle. 
Feere, 7/209, companion. 
Feft, 136/620, endowed. 
Feld, 13/122, field. 
Fele, Felle, 65/43, many ; 141/24, 

knock down; 156/5 15, mountain; 

170/142, cruel, fierce. 
Fell, 331/i8i, skin. 

Glossarial Index. 


FeLly, 368/31, terribly. 

Felter, 377/3i8, join together (?) 

Fend, IO/38, forbid. 

Fenyng, 20O/224, feigniug. 

Fenys, 205/22, feign. 

Ferd, 13/145, afraid ; I8/338, fear. 

Fere (in), 20/383, in company. 

Fere, 368/31, terrify. 
Ferly, 14/i 56, wonder, marvel. 
Ferray, 374/217, plundering. 
Fersly, 77/405, fiercely (?) 
Ferys, 230/64, companions : see Fere. 
Fest, 109/28o, settle, fix. 
Feste, 25I/244, fastened. 
Fe-.yld, 372/i65, made ready. 
Feyll, 294/53, many. 
Feyr, 191/i6i, companion : see Fere. 
Ffn-lee, 358/158, wonderfully : see 

Ffelterd, IO2/65, joined together, 

Ffermes, IOI/30, rents due to landlord. 
Fill (half my fill), 2I/427. 
Flay, 34/38o, put to flight, frighten. 
Flekyt, 374/242, spotted. 
Fleme, 84/ 188, banish, put to flight. 
Flemyd, 235/234, banisht, condemned : 

see Fleme. 
Flett, 29/223, flat > floor ; 36/436, 

Flone, HO/324, dart: see Thoner-flone, 

Floo, 26/115, flow. 
Flume, 197/72, river. 
Flyt, n/303 ; 29/223, flee, shift ; 73/ 

284, flee trom, avoid. 
Flyte, 17/293, quarrel. 
Flyx, 182/ 30, flux, diarrhoea. 
Foche, 71/221, fetch. 
Fode, 96/365 ; 268/343, offspring : see 

Foine, 268/343, product, treasure. 
Fon, 274/526, am bewildered. 
Fon, 47/218, found ; 96/353, fool. 
Fon, 239/360, seize, take. 
Fone, 26/99, f ew - 
Foode, 91/178, offspring, child ; 196/ 

39, young man. 
Foore, 122/ 196, fared. 
For, I9/354, because. 
Forbot, IO2/38, forbidding. 
Force, I9/374, power, strength ; i no 

force,' no matter. 
Fordo, 26/114, ruin, destroy. 


For-fare, 234/317, destroy. 

Forfett, 230/62, transgressed; 242/ 

425, offence, penalty (?) 
Forgungere, 195/28, foregoer. 
Forgeyn, 49/285, forgiven. 
For-rakyd, 124/256, overdone with 

Fors, 65/32, might, power. 
Forshapyn, 136/6 19, transformed. 
Forspokyn, 136/6 13, enchanted. 
Forth, 52/24, carry out, execute. 
For-thi, IO/45, For-thy, 27O/405, there- 
Forthynk, 94/299 ; 24/354, repent, be 

Forthynkyng, 343/ 144, repentance. 
Forwakyd, I24/253, exhausted with 

Forward, 289/322, agreement, promise. 
Foryeldys, I2I/171, requites. 
Fostre, 386/599, care, protection. 
Fott, 2O/392, fetch. 
Found, 41/53; Fownde, 358/158, 

prove, try, seek. 
Fow[n]dyng, 219/497, temptation. 
Fowre, 74/305, fared. 
Foyde, 139/720, child, offspring: see 

Foyll, 225/678, fool ; 5/137, foal. 
Foyn, I77/381, thrust. 
Foyne, 125/28i, few: see Fone. 
Foyte, 263/i82, foot, 12 inches. 
Frast, 28/183 ; 41/5 3, inquire of, try. 
Fray, I75/317, attack, alarm, fright; 

312/198, from. 
Frayes, 65/42, affrays, rows. 
Frayn, 9I/185, question, ask. 
Fre, sb. 32/310, free, noble, liberal 

being, God. 
Freke, 289/322, warrior, man. 
Frele, 392/i66, frail. 
Frely, 49/ 27 7 5 139/ 7 2o ; 196/ 39 , 

Fres, 35I/314; Frese, 34/391, fear. 
Fresh : as fresh as an eel, 127/356. 
Frog, 289/3H, frock, Christ's gown. 
Froskis, 73/284, frogs. 
Fry, 25/66, children, descendants. 
Fryggys, 377/316, animals, beings (?) 
Fun, 65/43, found 
Fylyd, 90/159, defiled, copulated 

Fynd, 94/272, put, clothe. 
Fyrth, 156/5 15, forest. 
Fytt, 59/104, song, stanza. 

D D 


Glossarial Index, 

Gab, 347/243, deceive. 

Gad, I3/149, £'° quickly to and fro. 

Gadlyng, 8O/84, fellow. 

Gam, 3/84, pleasure, sport. 

Ganstand, 44/i28, withstand, oppose. 

Garn, 32/298, yarn. 

Garray, 7GI/377, armed force; 134/ 
564, commotion, row. 

Gars, IO/44, causes. 

Gart, 43/104, made. 

Garthynere, 323/563, gardener. 

Gate, 52/29, going, path. 

Gawdis, 65/41, tricks, habits. 

Gaytt-door, 126/328, street door. 

Gedlyngis, 10/ 14, fellows: see Gad- 

Geld, 89/134, barren. 

Gent, 366/396, gentle, well-born. 

Gere, 3O/245, gear, tools. 

Ges, sb. 15/231, guess. 

Gessen, 74/315, Goshen. 

Get, 46/ 1 88, offspring, progeny. 

Gett, 376/287, mode, fashion. 

Geyn, 203/270, given. 

Glase, 241/4i8, gloss, polishing. 

Glase, 126/316, chance, risk. 

Glom, 386/596, frown, are gloomy. 

Glope, I74/264, surprise. 

Glose, I29/413, falsehood. 

Gnast, I7O/157, gnash, be troubled. 

Goderhayll I 107/226, good luck ! 

Gog, IO/44, God. 

Gome, 203/269, m:m - 

Goonys, 183/47, yawn. 

Grade, 257/404; Graide, 234/ 2 86, 

Grafen, 3I6/350, buried. 

Grales, I72/205, gradual, part of the 

Grame, 25/89, anger. 

Gramercy, 98/20, many thanks. 

Gramery, IO8/242, grammar, learning. 

Grankys, I83/45, groan. 

Granser, 204/ 12, grand sire. 

Grath, 37/482, (?) favour, readiness. 

Grauyng, 157/5 57, burial. 

Grayd, 3OO/227, prepared : see Grade. 

Grayth, 55/103, prepare. 

Graythly, 207/95, readily. 

Grefyd, 21 7/432, grieved. 

Greme, 54/73, anger, harm : see Grame. 

Gresys, 8/238, herbs, plants. 

Grete, 5O/38, weeping, to weep ; 316/ 
350, grit, stone. 

Grew, 274/531, Greek. 

Grewys, 378/352, turns to horror (?) 
Grith, I66/4, peace, security: see 

Grofen, 74/326, grown (?) 
Groflyngis, 46/203, groveling, face 

Grome, 371/128, groom, boy. 
Gropyng, 347/243, feeling, handling. 
Groved, 15/199, grew. 
Growne, II4/432, snout (?) 
Groyf, 196/54, grow (?) 
Gruch, I98/104, grudge, murmur. 
Grufe, 37/463, grow (?) 
Gryle, I63/99, shrilly, keenly. 
Grymly, 338/ 14, cruelly, terribly. 
Gryse, 48/254, feel horror, shudder. 
Gryssed, IO6/189, grassed, covered 

with grass. 
Gryth, 226/707, peace, security : see 

Gyll, 243/1 1, guile. 
Gyn, 26/128, contrivance, engine. 
Gyrd, 136/622, strike, cut. 
Gyrth, 8O/54, peace, security : see 

Gyse, 127/341, plan (?) 

Had I wyst, II9/93, had I known, 

before I played the fool. 
Hafles, I8O/484, unhurt (?) 
Haft, I87/52, affairs, business. 
Hafyng,191/i75, possessions, property. 
Hagh, 33O/144, consideration. 
Hak, I3I/476, go on, behave, make 

uproar (?) 
Halsid, 294/56, embraced, fondled. 
Hamyd, H7/15, crippled, lamed. 
Handband, 5O/33, covenanted portion. 
Hap, I3O/434, wrap up. 
Har (to-har), 297/142, harry, drag. 
Har, 234/2IO, hinge. 
Harbar, 1 24/245 ; Harbor, 297/ 139, 

lodging, dwelling. 
Hardely, 19/463, boldly, certainly. 
Harll, 256/358, drag. 
Harlottis, IO/22, rascals. 
Harnes, 1 28/392, brains. 
Harnes, 43/ 118, equipment. . 
Haro ! I7/275, help ! 
Harrer, II/55, quicker. 
Harsto, 297/136; Harstow, 2O/386, 

hearest thou. 
Hast, 238/318, asked, ordered : see Ast. 
Hat, IO/15, i s called. 
Hathennes, 79/26, heathendom. 

Glussarial Index. 


Hatters, 133/543, confound it ! 

Hawvell, 378/337, noise, jabber (?). 
Apparently mere gibberish, like the 
rime-word lawvell. 

Haylse, 365/386, salute. 

Haytt, 123/227, hot. 

He, 37/469, high. 

Hek, I26/305, hatch, wicket-gate. 

Hekis, IO/47, hay-racks (?) 

Held, 181/6, eld, old age. 

Helme, 35/420, rudder. 

Hend, 388/25, near. 

Hend, 9/262, hand. 

Hent, 35/420, take, seize. 

Here, 12/ 100, here is. 

Heris, 7/198, hear thou. 

Het, 46/190, promised ; Hetis, 51/52, 
promises ; Hete, 352/348, promise. 

Hething, 281/86, scorn, contempt. 

Hevyd, 366/401, lifted. 

Heyle, 87/45, healing, salvation. 

Heynd, 62/174, gracious. 

Heytt, 73/298, promised : see Het. 

Hien, 193/2 16, hence. 

Hight, 3/71, (be) called; 24/46, pro- 

Ho, 35/411, cry ho! stop. 

Hogh, 317/371, high,(?) read 'hegli.' 

Hoill, 9/7, hole. 

Hoket, 374/233, 234; 377/312, ridi- 
cule (?), or(r') difficulty, obstacle. 

Holard, I77/358, debauchee. 

Holgh, 1 8/3 10, empty, hollow. 

Humely, 294/56, familiarly. 

Hone, I3/133, delay. 

Hore, IO4/132, hair(?), sheep. 

Hostyld, 348/263, lodged. 

Hote, 53/46, promise, vow. 

Houer, 75/363, tarry. 

Hoylle, 34/388, whole, contented. 

Hoyne, 32/8o, delay :. see Hone. 

Hoyse, 2I/436, hose. 

Hu, 346/221, hue (?) 

Hud, 288/283, hood. 

Hufe, 37/461, delay. 

Hullars, 29I/373, lechers. 

Hurlyd, 244/30, driven forcibly ; 377/ 
316, covered with bristles. 

Hy, IO/43, hasten ; in hy, in haste. 

Hyght, 8I/107, promise. 

Hyghtynd, 90/68, set high, lifted up, 

Hyne, 53/54, servant ; 1 84/90, hence(?) 
Hyrdis, 66/62, shepherds. 
Hyte ! H/55, gee up I go on I 

Ich, Icha, 4/106, each, every. 

Ich, who be ich?, I22/207. 

Ichon, 26/ii2, each one. 

Ilk, 62/183, same. 

Ilka, 63/2U, each, every. 

Indoost, 242/421, flogged, loaded on 

the back. 
Indytars, 205/24, inditers, writers. 
Infude, IOO/89, pour into, endow. 
Ingroost, 202/250, engrossed, included, 

Innocent, sb. I77/388. 
Inqueryd, 195/21, inquired of, asked. 
Intraste (in traste), 299/i82, trust in. 
Irk, I82/43, weary, disinclined for 

Irregulere, 237/306, out of rule, 

1st, 201/212, is it. 

Janglis, 9/6; chatters; Jangyls, 

I3/134, chatterest. 
Jape, 123/221, jest. 
Jawvell, 378/337, wrangling = javel, 

chavel, jaw. 
Jelian Jovvke, 377/317, Gillian 

Clown (?) 
Jourmontyng, 166/n, governor (?) 
Jues, 65/35, Jews. 

Keill, 32/300; Keyle, 26/u8, cool, 

Kelles, 375/26o, cauls, nets. 
Kend, II/72, taught ; 62/193, known. 
Kepe, 253/304, await, meet (?) ; 388/ 

19, heed. 
Kest, 266/255, cast, reckon up. 
Knafe, 2O/382 ; Knave, 134/5 54, boy, 

Knakt, 137/659, mt it °^ san g- 
Knap, 238/337, knock, strike. 
Knop, 24I/408, stud with knobs. 
Knyt, 36/451, knit, closed. 
Koket, 374/235, cock, aside. 
Kon, 4/91, know. 
Kun thank, 65/30, give thanks. 
Kyd, 2/45 ; 266/272, made known, 

Kynd, 50/42, kindred, family. 
Kynke, 372/152, double up, tie myself 

in a knot. 
Kyppys, 134/557, seizes, snatches. 
Kyth, 54/67, kith, kindred, native 

Kythe, 54/95 ; 266/266, show. 


Glossarial Index. 

Laft, 2GI/105, have left, relinquished. 

Laghe, 339/44, law. 

Lak, G8/118; Lake, H5/465 ; 385/ 

587, play, game. 
Lakan, I24/242, plaything. 
Lake, 56. 206/8 5. lack. 
Lane, 334/48, hide ; see Layn. 
Langett, 29/224, strap, thong. 
Langyd, 11 7/42, longed, wished. 
Lap, 287/265, rag. 
Lappyd, II6/4 ; Lapt, 128/368, 

wrapped up, involved. 
Lare, 76/194, lore, learning. 
Large, in, I89/90, at large, fully. 
Late, 9O/137, seek, inquire. 
Lath, 298/165, hateful, hideous ; see 

Law, 67/8 1, low. 
Lawd, 6I/143, lay, unlearned. 
Lawdys, 121/ 180, praises, part of the 

Matins Service. 
Lawvell, 378/338, blasphemy (?) 
Lay, Layse, 66/48, law, laws. 
Layn, 45/169, hide, deny. 
Layt, 192/i8o, seek, look for. 
Layth, 87/63, hateful, hideous. 
Laytt, 286/238, search (?) 
Leasse, 6/158, falsehood. 
Leche, 12/83, physician. 
Lede, 287/265, man. 
Leder, 3I/289 ; Ledyr, 121/147, evil, 

Lefe, H/65 ; Leif, 11/68, dear. 
Lege, 192/i 8 1, alleges, quotes. 
Leghe, 33/38, lie, falsehood. 
Leif, 15/195, remain. 
Leke, 5/129, leek. 
Lele, 36/446, loyal. 
Lely, 192/i8o, loyally. 
Lelyst, 288/296, most loyal, f;iirest. 
Lemman, 87/65, dear onc (V. Mary). 
Lemyd, HO/316, shone. 
Lent, 96/352, remained. 
Lenys, 13/ 11 8, lends. 
Lep, 395/56, basket. 
Lerd, 233/ 169, taught 
Lere, 45/159, teach. 
Leryd, 72/239, learnt. 
Les, 5/i2o; Lese, 7/194, falsehood : 

see Leasse. 
Lese, 209/163, lose. 
Lesyns, 2O6/67, lyings, falsehoods. 
Letherly, 121/ 171, badly (cheap and 

Letht, 232/142 ; lithe, mitigation. 

Lett, I89/89, hinder, desist, stop > 

259/33, thought, esteemed. 
Letys, 260/56, thinks. 
Leuer, 47/217, rather : see Leyffer. 
Leuerd, 287/265, delivered, given. 
Leueryng, 107/2 17, dish of liver (?): 

see Levyr. 
Levyn, 33/346, lightning. 
Levyr, 35/399, liver. 
Lewde, 139/707, unlearned, lay. 
Lewte, 41/50, loyalty. 
Leyde, 24/48, people, nation ; 4/82, 

Leyf, 5/126, dear : see Leif. 
Leyfe, 4/i 11, leave, abandon ; 85/234, 

pleased, willing. 
Leyffer, were I, 42/84, I had rather. 
Leyfys, 385/586, darlings, loves. 
Leyn, 12/ii2, lean. 
Leyn, 12/i 15, lend. 
Leynd, 68/140, remain, linger. 
Leynyd, 53/37, leaned, inclined. 
Lig, 1 8/326, lie. 
Lightness, 195/5, light. 
Ligis, 15/220, lies : see Lig. 
List, H/59, pleases. 
Lith, 2/26, light ; 393/21 1, joint. 
Lofe, 3/75, praise. 
Lofyni', I2/103, praising, praise : see 

Loghe, 281/86, laughed. 
Lone, 293/271, loan. 
Long, 35/399, lungs. 
Longys, 3/8 1, belongs. 
Lonys, IO7/230, loins. 
Looke, I23/219, look favourably or^ 

Loppys, 74/306, insects, fleas. 
Lome, 66/76, lost. 
Lose, 250/2O2, praise, repute. 
Losell, 72/242, scamp, worthless 

Lote, I29/409, noise. 
Loth, 2O8/126, loathsome, hateful, 

hideous : see Lath. 
Lothes, I66/9, injuries. 
Lottyn, 232/123, looking: see Sowre- 

Louf, 42/56, love : see Luf. 
Loutt, 28O/49, bow the head : see 

Lovyng, 3/62, praise. 
Lowde, and styll, 190/122, in all con- 
Lowfes, 2II/239, valuest. 

Glossarial Index. 


Lowfyd, 248/i69, praised. 

Lovvked, 229/58, locked, closed. 

Lowt, 2I/434, bow the head. 

Luddokys, 377/314, buttocks. 

Luf, 21/434, love. 

Lufe, 37/462, hand, palm. 

Lufly, 3/72, lovely. 

Lullay, syng, 130/442. 

Lurdan, 72/239, lowt, lazy person, 

Luskand, 227/750, hiding, sneaking. 

Lyere, 269/362 ; face, countenance : 

see Lyre. 
Lyght, 6O/115, descend; I27/337, 

delivered (in childbirth); chepe, 16/ 

236, I2I/170, light, cheap bargain. 
Lykance, 281/56, liking, pleasure. 
Lykandly, 265/234, pleasantly. 
Lykyng, 74/316, pleasure. 
Lynage, 69/143, lineage. 
Lynde, 97/368, lime-tree. 
Lyre, 65/24, face, countenance : see 

Lyst, 65/24, pleasure, liking. 
Lyte, 85/225 ; Lytt, I52/394, flaw, 

Lythe, 340/87, go, travel. 
Lytter, 158/590, bed. 

Ma-fay ! 275/564, my faith ! 

Make, 7/187, mate, wife; 2I/442, 
match, equal. 

Malison, 19/355, malediction, curse. 

Malys, I79/453, bags, wallets. 

Mangery, 214/343, feast. 

Mangyng, IO7/232, eating, meal. 

Mar, 27/129, hinder. 

Mare, 238/310, nightmare, goblin. 

Marke, I82/33, dark, dim. 

Maroo, I3O/436, companion, mate. 

Mase, 68/135, makes, does. 

Masid, 358/i65, 166; 359/195, mazed, 

Mastre, 3/8i ; 65/34; 223/6io, lord- 
ship, superiority. 

Masyd, 220/5IO, dizzy, stupid. 

Mawgre, 287/270, ill-will, displeasure. 

Mawmentry, 26O/78, idolatry. 

May, 8O/70, maiden ; 223/6 10, make. 

Mayll-easse, 1 32/48 5, discomfort, sick- 

Mayn, 163/ioi ; 265/241, power, 

Maytt, 202/245, dejected, sorrowful. 

Measse, 34/389, mess, dish. 

Med, 341/i 1 1, mead, honey-drink. 

Mede, 17/294, reward. 

Medill-erd, 26/ioo, earth, world. 

Medys, 2/31, midst. 

Mekill, I6/237, much. 

Mell, 24/44, speaks (of); 260/82, 

Melland, 386/595, speaking, talking. 
Mene, I4I/37, indicate, point out. 
Menee, Menye, 23/22, household, 

Meng, 166/ 1, "mingle; 271/437, disturb, 

Menged, 4I/31, disturbed, troubled ; 

314/270, mixed. 
Menske, 82/140, dignify, honour. 
Menskfull, 360/389, honourable. 
Ment, 40/i5, a i m ed at, aspired to; 

45/174, signilied, intended. 
Menys, 225/688, bemoans. 
Merely, 77/419, merrily. 
Merkyd, 195/3, marked. 
Mershall, 264/198, farrier. 
Mes, 172/2o6, Mass. 
Mese, 209/I5I, soothe. 
Mesel, I6/264, leprous. 
Mett, H5/484, measured. 
Mevid, 39/542, moved. 
Meyne, 12/iu, mean, middling. 
Meyne, Mene 12/113, complain, moan. 
Mo, 6/163 ; Moo, 8/237, more. 
Mode, I8O/472, mind, mood. 
Modee, 260/86, proud, courageous. 
Mold, 243/3, earth, ground. 
Mom, 70/i88, mutter. 
Mompyns, 107/2 10, teeth: 'mone- 

pynnes,' Lydgate. 
Mon, I6/265, must. 

Mop, II5/467 ; 139/724, bundle, baby. 
Moren, IOI/39, morning. 
Mortase, 264/213; 267/304, mortice, 

notch for the Cross to rest in. 
Mos, 376/288, moss, for padding 

folk's shoulders. 
Mot, I6/254, must. 
Mow, 26I/99, grimace. 
Mowchid, 380/571, preyed, pilfered (?) 
Moyne, 195/6, moon. 
Moyte, 213/298, discuss, moot. 
Moytt, 27I/430, plead. 
Moyttys, 3OI/270, slippest, goest 

Muf, 70/i88, speak indistinctly. 
Muster, 298/177, punish (?) 
Mychers, 258/ 12, pilferers. 
Mydyng, 34/376, dunghill. 


Glossarial Index. 

Myld, sb. 94/28i, gentle maiden, Mary. 

Myn, 26/112, less; 39/551, remember. 

Myn, 291/361, Mynnyng, 391/i 5 8, 
memory, remembrance. 

Myr, 157/557, myrrh. 

Myrk, 197/88, dark. 

Mys, 39/551, suffering; 195/26, evil. 

Mysfoundyng, 347/242, mistaken en- 
deavour, mistake. 

Mysprase, 389/59, blame. 

Myssaes, 275/569, (?) discomforts. 

Myster, IO7/231, need, require. 

Mytyng, H5/477, little one. 

Napand, 385/575, napping, catching, 

Nar, 43/225 ; I24/246, nigh, nearer. 
Nate, 260/62, use. 
Nately, I2I/158, quickly. 
Nawder, 14/ 193, neither. 
Nawre, 323/579, nowhere. 
Nawther, 1 32/504, neither. 
Ne, 297/n8, nigh, near. 
Neemly, 1 23/271, nimbly. 
Nefe, 24I/407, fist. 
Negh, 7/201, go nigh, approach. 
Negons, 385/571, misers. 
Neld, 13/123, needle. 
Nere-hand, 49/286, almost. 
Nese, 132/488, nose (?) 
Nesh, I33/545, soft, tender. 
Neuen, 23/13, name, relate; 194/266, 

speak of. 
Newys, 14/189, renews. 
Nokyns, 246/99, no kind of. 
Nold, 360/ 1 1, would not. 
Nome, 370/i 1 1, numb, benumbed. 
None, 32/317, noon. 
Nonys, the, 133/527 = then onys, then 

once, the nonce. 
Nores, 132/496; Norice, 396/79; 

Norysh, 262/141 ; nurse. 
Nose, 9/i 1, noise. 
Note, 31/264, occupation, business ; 

34/368, contention. 
Novels, 38/508, news. 
Nowche 391/138, brooch. 
Noy, 39/532, Noah. 
Noyes, 77/397, annoyances, hurts. 
Noynyng, <281/65, noon-tide. 
Noytis, 69/154; HO/306; 194/266, 

notes, things : see Note. 
Nyfyls, 377/323, trivialities. 
Nyghtertayll, 227/734, night-time. 
Nyk, 323/571, deny. 

! Nyll, IO6/198, will not. 

0, l/i, omega. 
Oker, I9I/163, usury. 
Okerars, 376/297, usurers. 
Oneths, I82/42, scarcely: see Unethes. 
Onone, 4/99, anon, immediately. 
Ons, 238/326 ; Onys, 29/207, once. 
Oone-fold, 157/554, one. 
Oost, 202/256, host, company. 
Oostre, 32/329, hostelry, inn. 
Or, 196/32, before. 
Ordaud, 26/119, ordain, make. 
Ore, 355/76, before, ago ; see Are. 
Ostre, 386/603, entertainment. 
Other-gatis, 13/I2I, otherwise. 
Ouerlaide, 32/306, covered, flooded. 
Ouertwhart, IO2/48, athwart, across. 
Out-horne, 232/139, nue ar >d cry. 
Owe, 91/178, owns. 
Oy> Oyes, 21/416, hear, listen, oh yes ! 
(call for silence). 

Paddokys, 39I/148, toads (or frogs). 

Paide, 3I/283 ; Payde,80/6i, satisfied. 

Pall, 323/613, royal robe, 

Paramoure, 25/8o, as a lover. 

Parels, nO/136, perils (?) 

Pask, 214/314, Passover. 

Pauste, 41/32, power. 

Pay, 76/373, satisfy, please ; I75/326, 

Payde, 21 8/470, pleased. 

Paynt, 117/28, painted, ornamented. 

Peche, 2O2/239, impeach. 

Pelt, 237/283, knock, thrust. 

Pent, 246/ioo, belonged. 

Perch, 25I/233, pi ei 'ce. 

Perles, 243/5, peerless. 

Permafay, 8O/67, by my faith. 

Pertly, 212/247, quickly, boldly. 

Peruyce, 24O/387, church-porch. 

Peyre, 369/63, equal. 

Pight, 269/364, doubt (?) 

Pight, 285/ 1 88, fixed (?) 

Pik, 26/127, pitch. 

Pike-harnes, IO/37, plunderer of 

Pilus, 376/290, folk with padded 

Playn, 292/4o8 ; Plene, 1 89/99. ful] - 

Plenyd, 38I/453, complained, be- 

Plete, IO6/204 5 Pleyte, 287/248, plead. 

Plight, 327/56; Plyght, 88/91, guilt. 

Glossarial Index. 


Ply, 28I/58, bend. 

Po, II7/37, peacock. 

Poece, 172/204, poet's (not Boece, as 
in margin). 

Pose, II3/423. catarrh, cold. 

Powderd, 107/2 16, salted. 

Poynt, 83/i6i, condition, danger. 

Prankyd, 376/288, embroidered, be- 

Pransawte, 385/56i, prancing, showing 

Praty, 11 5/477, pretty. 

Prayse, 212/257, appraise, value. 

Prease, 65/ 19, crowd, throng : see 

Prefe, 72/255, prove. 

Prese, 253/313, crowd, throng. 

Prest, 22O/510, rpady, prompt. 

Preualy, 253/292, privately. 

Preue, 151/338, private. 

Preuate, 80/ 125, privity, secret. 

Propyce, 54/ioo, propitious. 

Prouand, IO/45, provender, food. 

Prow, I4/163, profit. 

Purs-cuttars, 291/375, purse-cutters. 

Purst, IO7/209, put away. 

Purvaye, 89/553, provide. 

Purveance, 11 7/33, provision, equip- 

Pyk, 31/282, pitch. 

Pynd, 33/332, pinned, confined. 

Pynde, 47/220, pained, punished. 

Pyue, 29/227, punishment. 

Pystyll, 119/ioo, epistle. 

Quantyse, 66/65, skill, wisdom. 

Quarrell, 19/367, square bolt of a cross- 

Quarte, 19/368, safety. 

Quell, 66/65, kill. 

Queme, 2/42, agreeable, pleasant. 

Querestur, 373/209, chorister. 

Quest-dytars, 373/i85, inquest- or 

Quest-mangers, 205/25, inquest- or in- 

Quetstone, 230/8o, whetstone. 

Queyd, 82/117, bad 7 un. 

Qwantt, I35/593, clever, qunint. 

Qweasse, 1 32/487, wheeze, breathe. 

Qwelp, II3/425, whelp. 

Qweme, 360/365, please. 

Qwenes, 255/349, women. 

Qweyn, 83/164, woman. 

Qvvite ; H/52, requite. 

Pad, I2I/175; 27O/384, afraid. 
Radly, 77/401 ; I68/65, readi y, 

Rate, 21/423, raves ; 27O/384, rave. 
Ragman (roll of), 374/224, document 

with seals. 
Rake, I68/65, course, path; 198/i 19, 

wander, go, 
Rake, 260/88, rack, torture. 
Rap, 237/300, hit, knock. 
Rase, 36/429, race, rush. 
Rathly, 27O/402, quickly, promptly. 
Raunson, 269/354, ransom. 
Raw, II9/109, 1- o w 5 bne. 
Rawth, 330/i68, ruth, pity. 
Rayd, 206/68, set in array, arranged. 
Recrayd, 321/507, recreant. 
Red, advice, plan. 
Rede, 4/iu, advice, counsel; 7/202, 

Redles, 27O/384, without counsel. 
Reepe, 1 6/235, sheaf. 
Refe, 245/65, rob, deprive of. 
Reffys, 371/146, thefts, spoil, plunder. 
Refys, 266/269, robbest of. 
Rehett, 171/i6i, rebuke. 
Rek, I6/247, care thou, heed thou. 
Reke, 372/i68, smoke. 
Rekyls, I48/237, incense. 
Rekys, 5/129, care: see Hek. 
Reme, 252/258, realm, kingdom. 
Ren, 57/25, run J ^ ve - 
Rennbyll, 231/no, reasonable. 
Renderars, 371/146, restorers. 
Renk, 1 68/70, man, warrior. 
Rentals, 371/134, rents (?) 
Rerd, 26/ioi, sound, noise. 
Res, 48/255 ; Resse, 273/481, race, 

Rese, 245/62, crowd. 
Reue, 08/74, rob, plunder. 
Rew, 63/224. nie } be merciful. 
Rewyll, 222/585, order, line, row. 
Reyde, 7/114, advise, counsel: see 

Reyf, 83/174, deprive of, rob from : see 

Reyll, 125/274, set about it. 
Reynand, 26/m, running. 
Ro, 3O/237 ; 266/269, quiet, repos°. 
Roght, 78/il ; 368/21, cared, recked. 
Rok, 33/338, distaff. 
Rok, 238/330, shake, agitate. 
Rose, I2/95, praise, glorify. 
Rost, cold, 2I/421, cold roast meat. 


Glossarial Index. 

Roton, 107/221, rotten. 

Route, 32/305, roaring- noise. 

Rowne, 82/n8, whisper. 

Rowte, I75/309, company. 

Royse, 4/in, praise. 

Roytt, 341/io2, root. 

Rud, 39I/145, redness of complexion. 

Rude, 27I/440, rood, cross. . 

Rug, 248/148, rock, agitate, shake. 

Runk, 82/ii8, whisper, talk. 

Ruse, 229/33, rose, praise. 

Rused, 273/492, praised, celebrated. 

Ryfe, 13/153, tear, split. 

Ryfe, IO3/96, widely. 

Ryffen, 13/ 141, torn, 

Ryke, IO3/92, realm. 

Rynes, 230/82, runs. 

Rype, 132/51-5, examine. 

Ryst, 65/47, rising, insurrection. 

Rytt, I98/109, disobedience (?) 

Sadly, 206/6o, firmly, seriously. 

Sagh, 56/ 1 6, saying : see Sawe. 

Sakles, 250/2 15, innocent. 

Salys, 22O/506, assails. 

Sam, 22/445, together. 

Samyne, 11 2/398, same. 

Sangre, H3/430, song. 

Santis, 4O/555, saints. 

Saunce, 103/ 112, without. 

Sawe, 112/68; Sayes, pi. 55/ioy, 
saying, speech. 

Say, 323/563, tell. 

Sayll, 286/229, hal] - 

Sayne, 43/ 107, bless ; Saynyd, 55/ 106, 

Saynt, 1 23/209, show off (?) 

Seasse, 6/182, seize, give possession, 

Sectures, 392/ 167, executors. 

Securly, 34/372, surely. 

Sekir, I7/295 5 Sekyr, 8/249, sure. 

Selcowth, 67/103, strange, wonderful. 

Seme, 4/107, II2 '■> Semys, 4/ioo, 104, 
suit, befit. 

Sen, 212/259, since : see Sithen. 

Seniors, 204/8. 

Sere, 8/255, several, separate. 

Sese, 4/i 14, cease. 

Sew, 77/403, pursue. 

Seyll, 32/301, happiness. 

Seymland, 29/21 1, semblance, appear- 

Seyr, 8/239, various, separate : see 

Share, 351/329, cut, pierced. 

Shech, 2O0/52, speech, doctrine (?) 

Shene, 143/99, beautiful. 

Shent, 8/221, disgraced, destroyed. 

Sheynd, 76/376, destroy. 

Shog, 265/230, shake up and down. 

Shon, 46/200, avoid, escape. 

Shontt, 365/36i, avoid, escape. 

Shope, I4/174, shaped, made. 

Shoterd, 370/98, shuddered. 

Shoyn, 13/i 53, shoes; 269/361, shone. 

Shrew, I9/341, curse. 

Shrogys, I2O/455, shrubs, brushwood. 

Shyld, 99/71 ; Outt-shyld, out- 
shelled (? L. inanes). 

Shyre, I8/317, clear. 

Sithe, 340/85, journey. 

Sithen, 12/103, afterwards, since. 

Sitt, 5/147, P ain - 

Skar, 237/301, cross, angry (?) 

Skard, I24/289, scared, timid, 

Skarthis, 105/ 160, fragments. 

Skathe, 53/51, injury, loss. 

Skaunce, 2O/401 ; Skawnce, 239/353, 
joke, make-believe. 

Skawde, 1 35/596, scold. 

Skawte, 385/559, blow, thrust. 

Skayll, IO8/249, bowl, drinking-vessel. 

Skelp, 32/323, blow. 

Skete, 63/221, quickly. 

Skill, 6/260, reason. 

Skraw, 274/5 16, scroll. 

Skryke, 3O/232, screech. 

Skyfte, 292/392, shift, trick. 

Skyllys, 44/133, reasons: see Skill. 

Slake, 249/i89, loose, set free, humble. 

Slape, 2I/414, slippery, crafty. 

Slefe, 117/28, sleeve. 

Sleght, 169/i2i, scheme, trick: see 

Slegthe, 263/157, sleight, contrivance. 

Slo, 19/371, slay. 

Sloghe (of-sloghe, ?) 128/385 (?) 

Slokyn, 138/677, quench. 

Slyght, 27/137, skill (?), 130/433, trick, 

Slyk, 396/71, sleek, smooth. 

Slyke, 3O/233, such. 

Slythys, 120/122, slides. 

Smeke, 1 7/286, smoke. 

Snek, I26/306, latch. 

Snoke-horne, 80/8o, sneaking fellow. 

Soferand, 65/22, sovereign. 

Sogh, IO9/274, sow. 

Sole, 34/391, hall. 

Glossarial Index. 


Somdele, 293/6, somewhat. 

Sond, 122/202, messenger. 

Sone, 63/221, soon. 

Soriornyd, 3OO/237, sojourned. 

Sory, 31/264, miserable. 

Sotell, G7/83, subtle, clever. 

Sothen, IO7/224, sodden, boiled. 

Sothfast, truthful. 

Sothle, 38/496, truly. 

Sow, 238/327, sound ; 3OO/234, follow : 

see Sowys. 
Sowde, HO/312, sounded. 
Sowll, IO5/152, sauce, relish. 
Sowre-loten, II9/102; -lottyn, 232/ 

123, sour-looking. 
Sowys, 73/283, follows. 
Soyne, 11 8/50, soon. 
Spar, 26/128, shut, keep; 27/130, 

beam, spar ; 213/294, spare, scanty. 
Spart, IO9/271, spare it(?) 
Sparyd, 296/ -104, enclosed, shut up. 
Spell, II3/412, speak. 
Spence, 251/249, expense, cash. 
Spill, 42/87, kill; 89/129, be de- 
Spir, 373/2o6, ask : see Spyr. 
Spitus, 35/416, spiteful. 
Spra, 154/449 5 Spray, 172/2 19, sprout, 

spring, rise. 
Spreyte, 6/168, spirit. 
Sprote, 17/290, sprout. 
Spyll, 89/129, be destroyed. 
Spyr, 47/226, ask, enquire. 
Stad, 294/28, placed. 
Staid, 234/202, installed, set. 
Stall, 33/345, station. 
Stangyng, 228/n, stinging. 
Stanys, IO/47, stones. 
Stard, 179/427, stared (?) 
Stark, 31/268, stiff. 
Starnes, 2/50, stars. 
Sted, 7/206, stand, stop; 29/199, 

placed, situated. 
Stede, 2/38, place. 
Stegh, 53/37, ladder. 
Stenen (or steuen, steven), 22I/546, 

ascend : see Stevyd. 
Stere, 235/350, move ; 259/27, govern, 

Stere- tre, 36/433, tiller. 
Stersman, 293/259, pilot, guide. 
Steven, M/175, voice. 

1 The surname Sybry, Sibrce is common 
the name may have rendered it celebrated, 
in here.— II. B. 

Stevyd, 364/336, ascended : sec 

Stenen (for Sieuen). 
Stcvynd, 324/594, ascended. 
Stokyn, 299/205, fastened, shut up. 
Stold, 39/525, fixed. 
Stone-styll, I23/232 ; 125/28o. 
Store, II4/456, stock. 
Stott, 133/518, bullock. 
Stoure, 297/I3I, tumult, battle. 
Stowke, 377/315, stook, pile of sheaves. 
Stownd, 336/337, moment, time. 
Stowndys, 313/254, fits of pain. 
Stowre, 155/497, trouble, vexation. 
Strayd, I8O/481, strewed. 
Strenkyllid, 341/ 108, sprinkled. 
Strete, 52/7, road, way. 
Strewyd, 62/194, scattered, destroyed. 
Strut, 57/i5, swelling, contention (?) 
Stay, 176/348, hag. 
Sty, I9/365, path, way ; 36I/262, 

Stynt, 6/ 16 1, cease. 
Stynyng, 156/525, rising, ascension. 
Stythe, 54/96, strong. 
Sudary, 3I8/390, napkin. 
Sufferan, 6/173; Suffrane, 8O/81, 

Swa, 155/486, so. 
Swalchon, 155/473, scamp. 
Swap, 247/136, stroke, cut. 
Swayn, 6O/124, countryman, labourer. 
Swedyll, I3O/432 ; 135/598, swaddle, 

wrap up. 
Swelt, 133/525, become faint. 
Swepys, 272/470, whips, scourges. 
Swevyn, 1 28/384, dream, vision. 
Swogh, 162/68, swoon; 226/718, 

soughing, sound. 
Swongen, 272/470, beaten. 
Swylke, 35I/333, such. 
Swyme, IO/27, dizziness. 
Swynk, 29/195, labour, toil. 
Swythe, 77/404, quickly. 
Syb, I9I/167, relative. 
Sybre, 233/149, a term of abuse. 1 
Symnell, 292/389, sort of tine bread. 
Syne, 30/228, afterwards. 
Synthen, I9O/113, since. 
Sythes, 332/234, times. 

Tabard, I77/357, short sleeveless coat. 
Talent, 83/157, service, disposal. 

in Yorkshire. Perhaps some malefactor of 
so that it may have been half -jocularly put 


Glossarial Index. 

Tarid, 229/5o, delayed (?) 

Tase, H6/185, tak es. 

Tayll, 58/64, number. 

Temporal (law), 237/292, secular. 

Ten, IO/21, teeth. 

Tend, H/73, tenth, tithe. 

Tendand, 245/89, attending. 

Tent, 3/291; 371/221, attend; take 

tent, I/21 1 ; I46/185, & lve attention ; 

3/478, tenth. 
Tenys, I39/736, tennis. 
Tethee, 28/ 186, tetchy, touchy, testy. 
Teyn, 29/2 10, be vexed, injured ; 123/ 

218, vex, injure; 39/533, vexation, 

Teynd, 5/144, tenth : see Tend. 
Teynfully, I67/56, cruelly. 
Thame, 2I/420, them. 
Thar, 1 7/293 ; 43/ii7, is necessary. 
Tharmes, 128/391, bowels, bellies, 

Tharne, 149/272 ; Tharnys^ 22/191, 

Thaym, 2O/412, them: see Thame. 
The, 32/328, prosper. 
Thee, 54/90, thigh. 
Ther, 282/ 106, must : see Thar. 
Thew, I4/185 ; 374/229, morals, man- 
ners, service. 
Tho, 30/228, them. 
Thole, I26/306, bear, suffer. 
Thoner-flone, HO/324, thunder-dart, 

Thoyle, 395/53, suffer: see Thole. 
Thrafe, I5/197, bundle, sheaf. 
Thrall, 22/464, slave. 
Thrang, IOI/47, throng, company. 
Thraw, IO/30, short space of time. 
Thrawes, 348/250, throes. 
Threpe, 121/i68, contradict, argue. 
Thro, I62/69, strongly, deeply ; 328 

76, bold, eager. 
Throle, 29I/357, boldly, severely. 
Throng, II2/416, pressed together. 
Thrug, 341/i 1 1, through. 
Thryng, 1 73/240, throng, press. 
Thurgh, 349/281, coffin. 
Thurt, 3OI/256, needed [=fallaii]: 

see Thar. 
Thwang, 123/2U, be flogged. 
Thyrll, 251/234, pierce; Thyrlyd, 

27I/429, pierced. 
Till, 6I/151, to, unto. 
To, 266/268, according to, in, after. 
To, 6O/152 ; 119/io8 ; 270/385, till. 

To-draw, 32I/506, pull to pieces. 
Tollare, 374/21 1, tax-gatherer. 
Tome, I33/547, empty ; 2IO/201, 

Ton, U6J177, taken. 
To-name, 395/65, surname. 
To-tyre, 170/ 144, tear in pieces. 
Toute, 3/63 fundament ; 1 1/63,64, arse. 
Toyles, 257/406, tools. 
Trace, 249/2oo, track. 
Trade, 340/87, trod. 
Trane, 95/330; Trayn, 1 63/93, trick, 

deceit, stratagem. 
Trant, I73/235, trick. 
Trast, 4I/54, trusty. 
Tratrys, 178/394, trotts, old women. 
Trauell, 13/ 152, labour. 
Trauesses, 298/153, traverses, thwarts. 
Traw, 12/115, trow, believe (see 

Trow) ; 58/77, true 
Tray, 39/533, affliction, grief; 358/i62. 

Trew as Steele, 26/i20. 
Tristur, 373/2o8, tryst, station. 
Trone, I/9, throne. 
Trow, I8/320, believe. 
Trowage, 84/198, fealty, allegiance. 
Trewth, 14/159, faith, belief. 
Trus, 3I/316, pack up; 6I/152, go 

away, be off. 
Trussell, I4/170, bundle. 
Tup, IO4/117, ram. 
Twyfyls, 377/324, twirls, curls (?) 
Tvvyk, 263/I7I, twitch. 
Twyn, I8/325, 159/625, divide, sepa- 
Tyde, 22/470, time, season. 
Tydely, 31/291, quickly. 
Tyme, IO/26, befall, happen. 
Tymely, adv. 133/524, early. 
Tynde, IOI/39, lost: see Tynt. 
Tyne, 11 5/467, tiny. 
Tyne, 36/441 ; 339/72, lose. 
Tynt, 5/149, lost- 
Tyre, 149/285, tear, fight : see To-tyre. 
Tyte, H/53 ; Tytt, 313/245, quickly. 
Tythand, 55/113, 128, tidings. 
Tythingis, 6I/163; 320/479, tidings. 
Tytter, 73/293, quicker, sooner : see 


Umbithynke, 5/123, bethink, meditate 

Umshade, 89/128, shade around, over- 

Glossarial Index. 


Umthynke, 303/318, meditate : see 

Unbayn, 29 1/356, unready, disobedient. 

Unburnyd, Hl/362. 

Unbychid, 291/356, disorderly (?) 

Unceyll, IOO/3, uuliappiness. 

Unconand, 204/i, ignorant. 

Undeniyd, 235/230, unjudged. 

Under-lowte, 221/5 52, inferiors, sub- 

Undughty, 291/368, unprofitable. 

Unetlies, 181/7 ; Unothes, 273/476, 
scarcely, hardly. 

Unfylyd, III/366, unclefiled. 

Ungayn (at), 2O/379, inconveniently. 

Ungrathly, 96/341, unsuitably. 

Unheynde, 224/642, discourteous, rude 
man (Jesus). 

Unnes, 391/i 5S, scarcely : see Unetlies. 

Unquart, 99/72, render unsafe, harass. 

Unrad, 285/214, imprudent. 

Unrid, 24/40; Unryde, 100/u, cruel, 

Unsoght, 26/97, unatoned for, irrecon- 

Untill, 2I/426, unto. 

Untrist, 332/2IO, untrusty. 

Unweld, I82/5; Unwelde, 91 /i 71, im- 

Unwynly, 2IO/189, unpleasantly. 

Unyth,164/i35, scarcely : see Unetlies. 

Upstevynyng, 357/123, ascension. 

Utward, 244/31, outwardly. 

Vales, 285/587, avails, is worth. 
Vantege, 243/ 17, advantage. 
Vanys, 4/in, vain, empty. 
Vayll, 243/i9, avail, gain. 
Veray, I44/119, truly. 
Veryose, IO7/236, verjuice. 
Vokettys, 367/9, advocates. 
Vowgard, 385/580, (?) place of security. 

Wafe, 2I/430, wander (?) 

Waght, 286/218 ; 29O/329, a bad 

Walk-mylne, 377/314, fulling mill. 
Walteryng, I24/236, rolling about. 
Wan, I3/139, won > acquired • 21 ^44, 

Wandreth, 24/40, misfortune. 
Wane, 102/62, waggon. 
Wanhope, 22O/507, despair. 
Wap, 223/593, wrap ; 289/ 3 i 4) blow; 

' at a wap,' in a moment. 

War, 43/113, aware; IO/25, 29, an 

exclamation, a hunter's cry. 
Wardan, 341/i 13, keeper, guardian. 
Wared, 5O/14; Waris, 5O/14, cursed, 

curses : see Warrie. 
Warkand, 52/8, aching. 
Warldis, 13/150, world's, wordly. 
Warloo, 137/640; Warlovv, 71/232, 

sorcerer, traitor, devil. 
Warly, 366/409, warily (or wary)(?) 
Warpyd, 271/4 13, cast. 
Warrie, 6/156, curse. 
Wars, 1 6/2 50, worse. 
Warte, 375/252, spend it. 
Wary, 29/208, curse : see Warrie. 
Waryson, 79/44, treasure, reward. 
Wast, 95/332, waste, void. 
Wat, IO/14, man - 
Wate, 382/485, wet. 
Wate, 36/444, know; Wayte, H8/75, 

knows : see Wote. 
Wate, 213/283, tricked. 
Waten, 358/ 161, watch. 
Wathe, 37/486, hunting, prey. 
Waue, 231/io3, move to and fro. 
Wawghes, 36/426, waves. 
Wayrd, 3OO/238, ward,' guardianship. 
We! H/53; 3/147, an exclama- 
Wed, 339/56, pledge. 
Wede, 139/731, garments ; I62/47, be 

mad, rage. 
Weders, 36/451, storms. 
Wedyng, H9/92, wedding, marrying 

(the evils of). 
Weft, 21/435, weft, woven stuff: 

" Ill-spun weft ay comes foul out." 
Weld, 44/126, wield, rule; Weldand, 

38/494, wielding, ruling. 
Welke, 348/261, walked. 
Welland, 75/344, boiling, bubbling. 
Welner, I28/387, well-near, almost. 
Welthly, 6/185, ha Pl'y 3 delightful. 
Wem, 87/37, spot, stain. 
Wemayl I3/148, an exclamation, Oh ! 

by God ! see We ! 
Weniles 221/541, spotless. 
Wemo! 15/198 ; Wemmow! 334/291, 

Oh ! by God ! see We I Wemcy ! 
Wend, 8/250, thought, supposed. 
Wene, 83/165, believe, suppose : see 

Wenyand, 15/226, waning of the 

moon, unlucky time. 
Wenys, 13/ 149, thinkest. 


Glossarial Index. 

Were, 41/22, doubt; 69/151, defend, 

Weyn, vb. 2O/387, believe, suppose; 

sb. 67/io8 ; 221/553, doubt. 
Weynd, 13/ 132, go. 
Wha? 319/439, who? 
Wbake, 62/182, quake, tremble. 
Whannow, 345/ 184, what now. 
Whartfull, 52/29, sa ^ e an( ^ sound. 
Whaynt, 2O8/144, quaint, clever. 
Wheme, 58/62, please. 
Whik, 134/548 ; Whyk, 236/265, living. 
Wbyr, IO4/117, be quiet. 
Whystyll, wett hyr, II9/103, drunk 

beer, &c. 
Whyte, 125/294, requite, suffer for it. 
Wight, 252/264, nimbly ; see Wyghtiy. 
Wilsom, 324/6o4, bewildered. 
Wish, 142/72, guide, direct. 
Wist, 43/89, knew. 
Wit, 43/96, know. 
Wite, vb. 1 8/322, blame. 
Wittely, 338/41, wisely. 
Wode, 19/350, mad : see Wood. 
Wogh, 39/533, evil, harm. 
Wold, 57/32, wielding, dominion, 

Wols-hede, 232/139, wolf's-head, 

Wone, 4/93, dwell ; 46/196, wont, 

accustomed to do. 
Won, 24O/391, wound. 
Wonden, 278/656, wrapped. 
Wone, 13/n6, custom, habit; 'in 

wone,' habitually; 6/184, habita- 
Wonnyng, a. 6/180, dwelling. 
Wood, I4/173 5 Woode, 14/ 159, mad. 
Worth, 292/404, become, be to ; ' well 

worth,' farewell I 
Worthely, 6/184, worthy, stately. 
Wote, I9/375, know. 
Woth, 35/416, peril. 
Wragers, IO2/58 ; Wragger, 371/143, 

Wrake, 27/138, injury, vengeance. 
Wrast, 69/150, wrest, twist. 
Wrears, 37 1/143, wrigglers, twisters: 

see Wiyers. 

Wrieli, 270/397, wretched. 
Wright, 3OI/246, carpenter. 
Wrightry, 30/2 50, carpentry, work- 
Wrokyn, 4O/276, avenged. 
Wrongwosly, 58/58, wrongfully. 
Wryers, IO2/58 ; 371/143, wrigglers, 

Wryng, sb. 235/237, twist. 
Wrytt, 59/ 106, writing, scripture. 
Wyghtiy, 178/396 ; Wightly, 223/593 5 

nimbly, quickly. 
Wyk, 236/262, wicked. 
Wyle, 71/233, wile, delude with 

Wyll of reede, 8O/75, wild in counsel, 

Wyn, 6/185, joy; 23/24, g cr , move. 
Wyn, 283/153, labour, contention 

(? pleasure). 
Wynk, 15/227, sleep. 
Wys, 58/49; Wyse, 82/122, teach, 

show, point out, guide. 
Wysh, 85/240, guide, direct : see Wys 

and Wish. 
Wyte, 95/332, impute; 252/278, be 

Wytterly, 58/59, surely, certainly. 

Yai, II/51, yea. 

Yare, 44/i2i, ready ; 156/5 14, quickly. 

Yate, 53/40, gate. 

Yede, 75/342, went : see Yode. 

Yeld, 5A/135, recompense. 

Yelp, 32/321, boasting. 

Yeme, 237/292, take care of, carry 

out; 341/ii2, observe, regard. 
Yerde, 230/69, garden. 
Yerdys, 93/248, rods, wands. 
Yere-tyme, 1 5/200, (?) ear-time, plow- 

ing-time ; or the proper season, time 

of year. 
Yerne, 191/ 174, yearn for, covet. 
Yheme, 58/6i, observe, keep holy. 
Ylahayll ! 72/258, bad luck to you ! 
Yode (MS. yede), 4I/29, went. 
Yowthede, 90/ 165, youth. 
Yoyll, 239/344, Yule, Christmas. 
Yrk, 197/84, unwilling, weary. 


(This does not pretend to be complete. The name of an Actor is often 
given only at his or her first appearance. — F. J. F.) 


Abacuk, 87/49; 186/n, Habakkuk. 
Abel, H/57, &c; I82/13 
Abiram, BO3/331 

Abraham, 40/ 1 ; Play of, p. 40—49 ; 

Adam, 7/198; 8/226, &c; is gone to 

hell, 41/41, for 5000 years and more, 

86/12; 294/25; 304/367 
Adonav, 307/45 ; God. 
Andrew, St., IOO/294 ; 21 5/362 ; 355/ 

65 ; 366/396 
Angel, 1st bad, 4/io8 ; 2nd. 5/n8 
Angel, lstgood, 4/in ; 2nd, 4/114 
Angels, 48/257; 159/595; I6I/14; 

183/73, &c; 197/75, 317/ 3 8 2 , 

386, &c. ; 36I/254 ; 369/73 
Anna, wife of Caiaphas, 206/66, &c. 
Anna, 229/55 ; 3II/172, &e. 
Annuneiation, Play of the, p. ,86 — 97 
Apostles, the Twelve, p. 337 — 352 
Araby, 144/ 120 ; 151 ^363 
Architophell, 303/330 
Arcliitriclyn, the Feste of, 248/152 
Ascension, Christ's, Play of, p. 353 

Atus, King, Pilate's father, 279/19 

Bad men on Doomsday, p. 367 — 369, 

Balaam, I47/205, 22 4 ; I82/14 
Balthasar, the 3rd Mage, 144/133; 

Baptist, John the, 195/i 3 : see John 

the B. 
Bartholomew, St., 368/326; 366/396 
Bedlem, 137/665, Bethlehem. 
Belzabub, 296/99, & c. 
Bethany, 354/21 
Bethlehem, HO/302; Bedleme, 110/ 

Bonus, good man, 1-4 ; p. 381 ; 386/613 

Boys, 9/1 ; 44/149; 70/202 ; 7I/206 ; 

Buffeting, Christ's, the Play of, p. 228 

Burning bush, Hl/360 

Caiaphas, 206/54, &c. ; 229/51, &c. 

Cain, IO/25 (Cam, I6/245, I7/285, 
&c. ; Cay me, 1 7/287) 

Calvary, 26O/83, &c. ; 281 J78, 81 

Came, Noah's 3rd son, 27/142 ; 39/528 

Capyle, oure hen, H8/67 

Cayphas, 229/51, &c. ; 308/86 

Cecyll, I67/44, Sicily. 

Centuryon, 248/i66 ; 307/38, 45, &c. 

Cesar Augustus, Play of, p. 78 — 85 ; 
his Counsellors, 79/46 ; 8O/64 

Cesar, Sir, 235/227 

Cherubyn, 3/6 1 ; 7/204 

Children, the Three, Hl/352 

Christ, 223/6i8 : see Jesus. 

Cleophas, 325/ 1, &c. ; 348/26 1 

Coliphizacio, the Play of Christ's Buf- 
feting, p. 228—242 

Coll (the 1st Shepherd, I3O/449), an( * 
his maroo (mate), I3O/436 

Commandments, the Ten, p. 58, 59, p. 
190, 191 

Conspiracy against Christ, Play of 
the, p. 204—227 

Copyn, King, 233/ 1 66, K. Empty- 
skein (?) 

Counsel lers and Doctors, Herod's, 
153/405, 415, &c. ; I72/209, 218 

Counsellors, Pilate's, 246/ 107 ; 249/ 
199; 284/179 

Crooked Thorn, the, I29/403. Perhaps 
the Shepherds' Thorn of Mapplewell, 
S. Yorkshire, three miles N.W. of 


Index of Names. 

Crucifixion of Christ, the Play of the, 
p. 258—278 

Daniel, p. 63, 64; 87/49; 182/i4, 

Dathan, 303/33 1 

David, p. 59—61; 87/48, 58; 111/ 
338; I82/14 ; 297/128 ; 3O0/389 

Daw, the 3rd Shepherd, I2I/154: see 

Deliverance of Souls from Hell by- 
Christ, the Play of the, p. 293—305 

Demons, 1 and 2, 5/132, 150 

Demons at the Judgment, p. 370 — 379 

Doctors in the Temple, Play of the, p. 

Doomsday, Play of, p. 367—387 

Down, IO/29, Cain's horse, = Dun (?) 

Ebrew, 274/530 

Esrypt, I6I/27 

Elizabeth, John the Baptist's mother, 

Elizabeth, Mary's ' Cosyn,' 89/134; 

Play of, p. 97—100 
Emanuel, 153/42 5 ; I86/4 
England, 127/353 
Esau, 5O/19; 55/125 
Eve, 7/198 ; 8/231, &c. ; 294/33 ; 305/ 


Eanuell, 55/no, Peniel, Penuel. 
Fisher's Pageant, the Pilgrims, p. 325 

Flagellacio, the Play of Christ's 

Scourging, p. 243 — 257 
Flascon, Mount, I67/46 
Floods and storms, I2O/127, J 28 
Froward, Caiaphas's man, 239/345, &c. 

Gabriel, Angel, 87/53 ; % 8 l77, & c. 

Galilee, 87/55 

Garcio, ' a mery lad,' 9/i ; IO/38 : 20/ 

385, &c. 
Gersen, 65/35; Gessen, 74/315; 

Glovers' pageant, p. 9 — 22 
God, l/i; 6/162; 25/73; 19/342; 42/ 

60; 52/13; 67/109; 8G/1 
Gog, 14/172, God. 
Good Friday, 278/662 
Gotham, the fools of, 106/ 180 
Grece, 1 67/48 
Greenhorn and Gryme IO/25, Cain's 

Grew, 274/531, Greek. 

Gudeboure at the Quarell Hede, 19/ 

Gyb, the 1st Shepherd, IO2/83 (Gyg, 

Gyll, Mak's wife, I3I/149; 132/5 14 

Harrer, II/55, Cain's horse. 
Harrowing Hell, Play of, p. 293—305 
Hely, Moses's mate, 295/79, Elijah, 

Herod, 140/i 

Herod the Great, Play of, p. 166—181 
Heth, 50/42 

Hob-over-the-wall, I7/297 
Holy Ghost, 1 86/21 
Horbery, I3O/455, Horbury, West 

Riding, Yorkshire, 4 m. S.W. of 

Home, John, 103/84, 134/563 

Inde, I67/43, India. 

India, St. Thomas of; the Play of, p. 

Isaac, 43/92, &c. ; Play of, p. 49 — 51 ; 

49/278, &c. 
Isaiah, 294/37 ; 305/4OI 
Isay, 87/47, Isaiah ; Isae, in/335 
Israel, folk of, 56/i ; 59/ioi ; 7O/196 
Italy, 167/43 

Jack Cope, a horse-man, IOI/17 
Jacob, 52/13 ; 49 /6 ; Play of, p. 52— 

56; 147/2o6 
Jak, boy, IO5/169; 106/179 
James, St., 215/369 ; 356/89, &c - ; 

Japhet, 27/142; 39/528 
Jaspar, the 1st Mage, 143/8$ ; 144/i28 
Jelian Jowke, 377/317, Gillian Clown. 
Jeromy, 87/48, Jeremiah. 
Jerusalem, 336/ 3 64 ; 337/369; 358/ 

143 ; 366/396 

Jesse, 59/97 ; Hl/349 

Jesus in the Temple, I87/49 '•> baptized, 
200/85; before betrayal, 2U/316 

Jesus, 254/320, &c. ; 260/233, &c. 
293/1, &c. ; 296/U5; 313/226 
323/569 ; 328/ 9 8 ; 340/84 ; 351/ 3 i2 
356/ioi; 369/81, &c. ; 379/386 

Jesus of Nazarene, 225/674 

Jesus of Nazareyn, kyng of lues, 274/ 
540, 541 ; 329/136 

Jettyr, Bishop, 67/99 — i. e. Jethro. 

Jewry, 243/6; 279/i5 ; 394/i6 

Index of Names. 


Job, 302/299 

John Home, the 2nd Shepherd, 103/ 

John, the Apostle, 214/314, &c. ; 215/ 

376 ; 252/26o, &c. ; 268/339, &c. 
John the Baptist, Play of, 195/203 ; 

295/65 ; 305/377 ; 358/i 47 
John, St., 365/ 3 64; 366/396; 387/1 1 
Jonas, 349/289 
Jordan, River, 197/72 
Joseph and Mary ; Play of their flight 

into Egypt, p. 160 — 165 
Joseph, Mary's husband, 87/59 ; 90/ 

155, &c. ; 185/U5 ', 193/201 
Joseph of Arimathea, 277/613, &c. 
Judah, 93/243 
Judas, I27/351; 209/174, &c. ; 215/ 

352; 222/584; 303/33O; 315/304 
Judas, poem of; his story, p. 393 — 

Jude, St., 366/396, 397 
Judea, 279/20 
Judicare, 247/128 
Judicium, the Last Judgment ; Play 

of the, p. 367— 387 
Jure, 224/640, Jewry, Jews. 

Kamys kyn, 224/639, Cain's kin. 
Kemp town, I67/47, ? not part of 

Brighton, or in Devon, or Norfolk. 
Kings or Magi, the Three, Jaspar, 

Melchior, Balthasar; Play of, p. 

j Knights, Herod's, I7O/145, 156, 158; 

Pilate's, 208/ 1 26 

Latyn, 274/530; 'the best Latynwright,' 

Lazarus of Bethany, 2O8/126 
Lazarus, Play of, p. 387—383 
Lazarus, rises, p. 390 
Lemyng, IO/42, Cain's horse. 
Lightfoot, lad, 8I/97 
Ltsters' or Dyers' Play, p. 64—78 
Lo'igeus, the blind knight, who pricks 

Jesus with a spear, p. 276 
Lucas, 348/261, St. Luke. 
Lucifer, 3/77; &c. ; 8/250; 23/i6 
Luke, St., 326/17, &c. 

Magdalene, Mary, p. 212 : see Mary M. 
Magi, Offering of the ; Play of, p. 140 

Mahowne, 82/127, &(t >- ; 166/ 1 ; 204/ 12 ; 
78/9 ; Mahouns, 244/39, gods. 

Mak, who cheats the Shepherds, 122/ 

190, &c. m 

Mak's wife Gyll, 1 25/297, &'. ; 131/ 

459; I32/514 
Malchus, 223/6oo ; 225/684, &c. ; 225/ 

676 ; 227/738, 748 
Mall, IO/41, Cain's mare. 
Mains, 1 — 4, at Doomsday, p. 367 — ■ 

369, p. 383 
Mantua, 1 67/47 
Marcus, IOO/294, St. Mark. 
Martha, 388/39 
Mary Magdalene, 253/3o8, &c. ; 316/ 

333 ; 323/563 ; 337/i 
Mary, Martha's sister, 389/66 
Mary, mother of St. James, 253/298, 

&c. ; 3I6/346 
Mary Salome, 3I6/352, &c. 
Mary, Virgin, 87/6o ; 89/107, &c. ; 97/ 

1; II5/485; 140/737; 162/ 57 ; 185/ 

127 ; 192/193 ; 252/279, &c - ; 267/ 

309, &c. ; 359/182 ; John and, 130/ 

Matthew, St., 359/190 
Melchior, the 2nd Mage, I43/103; 

Messengers, Herod's, 142/65 > 148/2 59, 

I5I/332; I66/1 
Micheas the prophett, I54/445, Micah - 
Moll counting her sheep, IO5/152 — ■ 

Morell, IO/42 ; II/55, Cain's horse. 
Moses, p. 56—59 ; 59/891 ; 67/89, &c ; 

87/47; 190/II8, 129; 295/77; 305/ 


Nabugodhonosor, Hl/351, Nebuchad- 

Nazareth in Galilee, 87/55 

Nicholas, St., 120/ii8 

Nicodemus, 277/625. &c. 

Noah, 23/i, &c. ; 182/i 3 

Noah's wife, 28/191, &c. ; his 3 sons, 
32/318—322, &c. ; 39/523—525; 
their wives, 33/354 — 361 

Normandy, 1 67/49 

Norway, 1 67/49 

Nuncius, Augustus's, 8I/106 

Onazorus, 109/292,=Nazora3us (?) 

Padua, 167/46 

Paginae Pasiorum, p. 100 — 140 

Paradise, 1 67/46 

Pasch (Easter) morn, 278/666 


Index of Names. 

Pastor I, 100/ 1 (Gyb, IO2/83) ; IT, 

(John Home, IO3/84), IOI/46 ; IIT, 

(Slow-pace, 104/ 125) ; IO4/134 ; 

116/1, &c. 
Paterfamilias, 214/338 
Paul, St., 338/29 
Peter, St., 214/3 1 6 ; 215/356; 337/7; 

353/13, &c. ; 366/396 ; 387/7 
Pharaoh, Play of, p. 64—78 ; ! his 

Knights or Soldiers, 65/25 '■> 66/53 5 

Philip, St., 215/366 ; 356/95 ; 36O/230 
Pila, Pilate's mother, 279/i9 
Pilate, 204/1, &c. ; 222/560; 243/ 1, 

&c. ; 258/1, &c. ; 275/552; 306/i, 

Pilate's knights, p. 312, 319, &c. 
Pilgrims (apostles to whom -Christ 

appears), Play of the, p. 325 — 337 
Pope, the, 174/263 
Pownce Pilate, 279/21 ; Pontius P. 
Processus Crucis, the Play of the 



Processus Talentorum, the Play of the 
Talents (playing for Christ's coat), 
p. 279—292 
Prophets, Phty of the, p. 56—64 
Purification of Mary, Play of the, p. 

Rachel, 54/75 

Rebecca, 56/41 

Reuben, father of Judas, 394/7 

Rome, 371/127 

Rybald in Hell, 296/89, 95, &c. 

Saba, I5I/363 
Sabbath day, 249/i8i 
Sacraments, Seven, 2OI/196, 197 
Sarceny, I67/48, Saracen-land. 
Sathanas, 22/467 ; 297/142, &c. ; 377/ 

Scourging, the Play of Christ's, p. 

Shem, 27/142; 39/528 

Shepherd's Plays I, p. 100—116; II, 
.p. 116—140 

Sibaria, mother of Judas, 394/8 
Sibilla propheta, p. 61—63 ; 87/50 
Simeon, 181/j, &c. ; 294/53 
Simon, St., 215/364, &c. ; 22O/504 ; 

257/392, &c; 353/9; 365/38o; 366/ 

Sirinus; Sir Syryn, 8I/99 ; 82/127,130, 

Cyrenius, of St. Luke (?) 
Slow-pace, the 3rd Shepherd, IO4/125 
Stott, IO/41, Cain's horse (?) 
Strevyn, St., I28/383, for Stevyn, 

Stephen (?) 
Surry, 1 67/44, Syria. 
Susa, 167/48 

Suspensio Jude, p. 393 — 396 
Sybyll sage, 87/50 ; p. 61—63 

Talents, the Play of the, p. 279—202 
(casting Dice for Christ's coat). 

Tars, I5I/363, Tarsus. 

Thaddeus, 215/368 

Thomas, St., 353/i, &c. ; 387/i5 

Thomas, St., of India; Pftiy of/ p. 337 

Thomas of Kent, St., I3I/458 

Torturers of Christ, the two, p. 228, 
&c. ; p. 243, 244, &c. ; p. 259, &c. ; 
p. 281 ; the third, 245/8o, &c. ; p, 259, 
&c. ; wins Christ's coat, 290/337 

Trinity, the, 22I/528 

Turky, 167/42 

Tuskane, I67/42. Tuscany. 

Tuti villus 373/206; 375/249; P- 384 

Wakefeld, 1 
Watlyn strete, 371/ 126 
White-home, IO/42, Cain's ox (?) 
Women, St. Paul on, p. 338, 389 
Women, their children killed by 
Herod's soldiers, I76/342, &c. 

Zachary, Elizabeth's husband, 89/136, 
and John the Baptist's father, I95/14 

R< chard Clay <t' Sons, Limited, London d- Bungay.